From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), and the apex Yoruba self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), under the leadership Prof Banji Akintoye, have dissociated themselves from a three-day Yoruba nation rally slated for Washington DC in the United States of America from October 1-3, 2021.
The dissociation followed a video clip that has gone viral on the social media, creating awareness for the rally. The promotion video clip purportedly emanated from a group called ‘Yoruba Nation in conjunction with its associates, including the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Coordinating Secretary of NINAS, Tony Nnadi, and Vice-Chairman, Ilana Omo Oodua, Otunba Shade Olukoya, in a statement made available to Daily Sun on Wednesday, stated that the emblems of NINAS and that of IOO were “displayed very conspicuously in a manner that creates the false Impression that NINAS and its associated platform, Ilana Omo Oodua, are somehow involved in the planned Washington DC rally of October 1-3, 2021.
“The general public is hereby informed that neither NINAS, nor Ilana Omo Oodua, is in anyway involved with the planned Washington DC rally of October 1-3, 2021, and that the use of the emblems of both NINAS and Ilana Omo Oodua, were unauthorised.”
The statement stated that the impression was being created on the heels of the Million-Man Freedom March at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States, “where the same groups, now advertising the said Washington DC rally, tried unsuccessfully to insert the terror-tagged IPOB into the NINAS Freedom March of September 14- 24, 2021 at the UN in New York.
“NINAS is closely monitoring what the motive might be for this desperation to foist IPOB on NINAS and Ilana Omo Oodua, despite the many unambiguous public disclaimers on IPOB, by both NINAS and Ilana Omo Oodua, including in the ongoing New York NINAS Freedom March, where the New York Police was called in, to prevent an IPOB stalwart from displaying IPOB colours and insignia.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the public is invited to note that NINAS is an alliance of three blocs (Lower Niger Bloc, the Yoruba Bloc and the Middle-Belt Bloc). Each of these three blocs has a coordinating organisation, through which NINAS relates to each bloc.
“Ilana Omo Oodua is the coordinating organisation in the Yoruba Bloc of the NINAS alliance and it is through Ilana that NINAS relates with other Yoruba self-determination platforms/organisations that wholly embrace the NINAS grand propositions as encapsulated in the December 16, 2020 NINAS Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation.
“Accordingly, while NINAS had no hesitation dealing with the ‘Yoruba Nation’ group, the ‘Yoruba Nation’ group aligned itself with Ilana Omo Oodua. The situation changes radically if the Yoruba Nation Group goes off solo on its own, associating with the IPOB with which neither NINAS nor Ilana Omo Oodua wants any form of association, for reasons that had been repeatedly placed in the public domain, namely – the terror-tag on IPOB as well as the terror/violence tactics adopted by IPOB since its transmutation to ESN and the so-called ‘unknown gunmen’.
“It is on account of the foregoing that the NINAS Secretariat deemed it necessary to issue this disclaimer, on behalf of its constituent coordination organisations, including Ilana Omo Oodua, to state categorically that NINAS has nothing to do with the October 1-3, 2021 mega-rally in Washington DC, being planned by the Yoruba Nation Group in conjunction with IPOB.”