The Apex Yoruba socio-political organization has described the emergence of an 84-year-old professor of history, Adebanji Akintoye, as Yoruba leader in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday as farce.
National Spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin during an interview with TheLead Online said “for us his emergence was no issue as those who gathered to elect him had no locus standi on Yoruba affairs.
“We have culture in Yoruba land. For anyone to even be appointed or elected as leader, there must be presence and consent properly constituted Baales, chiefs and Obas. Akintoye was one of us at Afenifere, his emergence as Yoruba was of no effect” he said.
Akintoye was elected in the presence of notable South-West elders, including 135-year-old Pa Olamilekan Akekaka.
The event, moderated by an activist, Dr Tunde Amusat, was convened by the founder of Oodua Redemption Alliance, Mr Victor Taiwo.
In attendance at the event, tagged, ‘Assembly of all Yoruba groups worldwide,’ were Baale of Ekotedo, Chief Taye Ayorinde; Chief Deji Osibogun; members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (New Era), Oodua Redemption Alliance, Majiyagbe Oodua Vanguard, Awari Omo Oduduwa; and clergymen, among others.
Chief Imam of Yorubaland, representing Yoruba in Kwara and Kogi states, Sheikh Abdukraheem Aduranigba, moved the motion for Akintoye emergence as new leader.
However, the Pro National Conference Organisations said whosoever was the leader of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, was the leader of the Yorubas.
The group’s spokesman, Olawale Okunniyi, said this in a statement made available to our correspondent.
He was reacting to the reported emergence of Akintoye as the new Yoruba leader.
He said, “Our position is that our record still clearly shows the assertion of Yoruba delegation at the Peoples’ National Convention organised by PRONACO between 2005 and 2006 was that whoever is the leader of Afenifere is the the undisputed leader of the Yoruba.”