Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of the lawyers to Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, has faulted the threat by self-determination arrowhead, Prof Banji Akintoye, that no governorship election would hold in Ekiti and Osun in 2022.
The lawyer, in a statement on Friday, described Akintoye’s declaration as combustive and distractive.
The Independent National Electoral Commission is set to hold governorship elections in the two South-West states as the second term of Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and the first tenure of Governor Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), end in October and November this year respectively.
But 86-year-old Akintoye, in his 2022 New Year Message on Friday, said that no election would hold in the two states.
He said, “Among most Yoruba self-determination advocates worldwide, the determination exists and is growing that there shall be no State Governorship and House of Assembly election in our homeland in 2022. The next election that we Yoruba people will engage in will be the first election in our own new country.”
Reacting, however, Olajengbesi said Akintoye wasn’t speaking for all Yoruba people of South-West Nigeria, noting that voting remained a human right.
The lawyer said, “I have read the statement credited to Prof. Banji Akintoye that there will be no election in Osun and Ekiti States in 2022 and I want to immediately react and condemn such in it totality.
“It is crucial to understand that Nigeria practices constitutional democracy and no individual or organization can upturn the constitution. The demand for an independent Yoruba nation cannot be realized through anarchy but by a procedure recognized by Law. I noted that the strict reliance on law and die process as well as respect for all facets of fundamental human rights were equally issues stressed by the noble Professor in his statement. It is my honest believe that these issues are the pivotal points he seeks to pass to all in his Statement.
“However, these all important issues which stands garmane on their merit were marred by Prof’s declaration that elections will not hold in those two States. Hence, I find it pertinent to address this distractive and combustive declaration capable if not addressed to mislead the public.
“It is also pertinent that Prof Akitoye, respectfully, should always put into consideration the entire Yoruba people and make sure that an all important statement such as this does reflects the aspirations of the people.
“I make bold to say that such no election threats statement cannot reflect the position of Chief Sunday Adeyemo who believes change can only be achieved through constitutional means, as his lawyers have duties to advise him as such.
“Indeed, Prof is very much displeased as most citizens are about the sad realities that has become the very reflections of our social polity. He expressed his displeasure in his observations about flagrant disregard to human rights. He however neglected to consider that Human rights must be addressed holistically and one of those rights is the right of a person to vote or be voted for. These rights cannot be set aside and denied entirely for any reason. Rather, we must encourage our people to work within their communities and local governments and states to ensure that whilst we agitate for Justice and Equity, we must also come to Equity with Clean hands. We must also do Equity.
“Without belabouring the matter further, we do know that the Good Professor Akintoye has noble intentions and would never intend for his words to promote anything other than peace, harmony, justice, fairness and Equity in all the Yoruba populated States and by extension in all the States making up the Federation of Nigeria.
“Let Justice be done, even if Heaven falls. Justice is inclusive and everyone must play a part in steering this ship in the course of promoting our common good and collective advancement as a People