NEWS MAIL NG has learnt that the Muhammadu Buhari led government is making moves to proscribe the Yoruba Nation separatist movement led by Sunday Igboho a terrorist organization .
You would recall that in 2017 the Federal Government approached the then Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, to grant the order proscribing the Nnamdi Kanu led IPOB as a terrorist organization .
It now looks like the same tactics is being considered as way to quell the growing influence of the
Prof. Banji Akintoye and Sunday Igboho led Yoruba Nation group.
Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu while speaking to PUNCH said all options within the law are on the table.
Asked whether the AGF Office had abandoned the extradition of Igboho or otherwise, Malami’s aide said he could not make the “processes” known to the public.
Gwandu said, “There are certain things that may not require publicity but the important thing is having a peaceful Nigeria and not discussing all or making public some of the processes so far.”
Proscription like IPOB
The AGF Office said options were on the table to deal with Yoruba Nation groups to ensure a united and peaceful Nigeria.
“The Federal Government is interested in having a peaceful Nigeria, so, all options cannot be ruled out, all options in order to have a peaceful and serene atmosphere in the country can be explored by the Federal Government,” he said.
Asked specifically whether the Federal Government intended to proscribe Akintoye and Igboho-led Yoruba Nation group, the AGF Office said, “Whatever thing that is doable and possible within the context of the law in accordance with extant provisions of the law will be pursued. All options are available at the Federal Government’s end.”
Bandits and terrorists
Some Nigerians had accused the Buhari government of being quick to prosecute Nnnamdi Kanu and Igboho but pampering bandits and failing to prosecute arrested terrorists..
However, the AGF Office said it was not true, adding that they are prosecuting bandits and terrorists.
“That is a lie. There is a department under the Attorney General that is pursuing all the issues. It doesn’t hold water; it is just a mere figment of the imagination of mischief-makers,” Malami’s aide said .
Reacting to the news, Prof Banji Akintoye , has said his group has no link with IPOB or Nnamdi Kanu. He said this through his Communications Manager, Maxwell Adeleye.
He said, “There is no basis for the proscription of Ilana Omo Oodua. The government can only proscribe a terrorist group and not a peaceful group like Ilana Omo Oodua. All our members arrested in Ojota (area in Lagos), were charged with disturbance of public peace but later released. Why weren’t they charged with treasonable felony or murder?
“If the government proscribes us, we are going to challenge it in the court of law because we have committed no offence. It is an organisation that believes in peaceful agitation for self-determination. We even released a manual on peaceful agitation for self-determination as authored by our Leader, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye.
“I do not think the Nigerian government will descend so low to proscribe a peaceful organisation like Ilana Omo Oodua. Professor Akintoye has released a formal statement that he is not afraid of arrest and that he is coming to Nigeria soon.”
While insisting that the group has no association with IPOB, Maxwell pointed out that they do not believe in the sit-at-home order issued in the South-East.
“Sit-at-home is never in our plan. Ilana Omo Oodua has no association with IPOB, so comparing IPOB methodology with ours is heretical. Our modus operandi is totally different. With all due respect to the members of IPOB, the only thing we have in common is that they want Biafra Nation and we want an independent Yoruba Nation.
“We are for peaceful self-determination; we believe in referendum, we don’t want war, we are not going to shoot a gun or carry a cutlass to attack anyone. We do not have any military wing. We are for peace and we believe the best way to achieve this is by NINAS (Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination) strategy of referendum and that is why we have been holding rallies to sensitise our people,” he said.