By Oluwakemi Ishola
A Nigerian socio-cultural group, the Yoruba World Congress (YWC) has removed its protem leader, Prof. Banji Akintoye, citing gross misconduct. It says the retired Professor of history has divided loyalty and commitment, which is causing acrimony in Yoruba land.
In a statement jointly signed by four of the co-founders of the world wide organization, namely Dr Amos Akingba, Chief Tola Adeniyi, Chief Solagbade Popoola and Professor Anthony Kila, and shared with all registered members of the YWC, Akintoye is charged with gross incompetence, indecisiveness, obnoxious dictatorship, and absolute disregard for laid down rules, order, structure, consistency and reliability – all of which he has failed to acquit himself.
Part of the statement reads:
After a week of total silence and discreet consultations with various Yoruba Leaders and Traditional rulers, the apex organ of the Yoruba World Congress has painfully but patriotically relieved Banji Akintoye, a retired Professor of history, of his position as Protem Leader of the global organization.
For example, Akintoye has one leg in the motley associations which elected him Yoruba Leader at Ibadan in August 2019, another leg in Afenifere, a leading Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural political organization where he is the Chairman of that body’s Political Committee and strangely another leg in YWC where he has been decorated as Protem Leader since late 2018.
His legendary divisiveness has created unprecedented acrimony and confusion in all the listed entities, particularly in the European and American chapters of the YWC.
In order to save the soul and spirit of YWC and sustain the huge goodwill and confidence the entire Yoruba race has in the respectable agenda and activities of our organization, it was unanimously resolved that retired Professor Banji Akintoye must be relieved of his Protem position in YWC to enable us continue the urgent agenda of the organization.
Meanwhile the Yoruba World Congress will be administered by Collective Leadership pending the time our new Leader is introduced to the public.
For emphasis, the decision was reached after one week of turmoil and various attempts to quitely and internally solve a crisis that originated from an attempt by Akintoye and some other people to hijack the YWC Leadership structure by removing members of the Leaders Council.
It will be recalled that on Tuesday 25th August, the YWC Leaders’ Council refused to sit in a meeting in which Prof Akintoye imported some 20 plus uninvited people to the YWC Leaders’ Council Meeting. Information gathered has now shown that many of these people are not even YWC members.
Since then several attempts have been made to mend fences but it has now become clear that Prof. Akintoye has made up his mind to pitch his tent with those outside the YWC against the YWC.
All attempts to make Prof Akintoye retrace his steps came to halt when it was gathered that some people had sworn to an Oath to dissolve the YWC.
The YWC Leaders‘ Council wishes to assure bonafide members and friends of YWC across the globe that the YWC remains intact and all the activities and commitments shall continue as no one man’s action or inaction can demolish the bond and dreams of millions of Yoruba people.
Prof. Akintoye remains the Yoruba Leader as elected in Ibadan in August 2019 but that position is now clearly in conflict with being the same YWC Leader and so it has to be reviewed and it is now duly reviewed.