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I Didn’t Flee Nigeria, I’m in Benin for Igboho – Banji Akintoye

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Prof Banji Akintoye, Yoruba Nation activist, says he is not intimidated by the reported plot of the Federal Government to arrest him.

The leader of the self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua, said this in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘I am in Republic of Benin with Sunday Igboho, not on the run – Akintoye.’

The 86-year-old professor of history was reacting to an exclusive report by Sunday PUNCH that the ex-Senate member in the Second Republic left Nigeria about three months ago when he uncovered plot by the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to arrest him.

Akintoye and embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho have been seen holding press conferences and rallies to champion the cause for the secession of Yoruba Nation.

Igboho, now in a detention facility in Cotonou, had been declared wanted by the Department of State Services for allegedly stockpiling arms to destabilise Nigeria under the pretext of Yoruba Nation, an allegation he denied.

This was after the secret police raided Igboho’s Ibadan around 1am on July 1, 2021, killed two of his associates and arrested 12.

Igboho had gone underground and escaped to Benin Republic but was apprehended on July 19, 2021 around 8pm while he tried to board a flight to Germany with his wife, Ropo.

In a statement on Sunday, Akintoye said he didn’t run away from Nigeria but had been in Benin Republic to ensure the release of Igboho.

The statement was signed by his Communications Manager, Maxwell Adeleye.

According to the statement, Akintoye said just like Ighoho, he has committed no offense against Nigerian laws to warrant being arrested, intimidated or harassed.

Adeleye quoted Akintoye as saying, “Myself, the President-General and Professor Wale Adeniran (Chairman) of Ilana Omo Oodua, are currently in the Republic of Benin as reported, but not on the run.

“We are here to supervise and coordinate, by all legal and other means, the struggle for the release of our son and patriot, Sunday Adeyemo, detained by the government.

“By demanding peaceful self-determination for the Yoruba Nation, I am not breaking any law, since self-determination is recognised by the International and Nigerian laws to be an inalienable right of every nationality, large or small, in the world.

“I have earned a solid reputation as a highly respectable advocate of a peaceful self-determination struggle. I have even written a book on the subject which is already being used as a manual by Yoruba self-determination advocates and organisations.

“Irrespective of what the Nigerian Government may be planning against me, I want to say without any fear or intimidation that I will be returning to Nigeria immediately Ighoho is released from the custody. I can’t be intimidated because I’ve not committed any offense, just like Sunday Igboho.”

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Travel Agent Scams Cristiano Ronaldo of £250,000, Jailed

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A travel agent, named Maria Silvia scammed Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, out of £250,000 (about N140 million) after the football star entrusted her with his credit cards and pin.

The 53-year-old travel agent also scammed Ronaldo’s super-agent Jorge Mendes of £14,000 and Manchester United winger, Nani, of over £1,500.

Due to her wrongdoing, Silvia got a four-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday after being earlier convicted by a Porto criminal court in 2017.

It was also revealed that Ronaldo was targeted for three years between February 2007 and July 2010.

The paper read, “Afterwards the travel agent had to plug the hole in the firm’s accounts. She, therefore, began to bill those trips to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an account at Geostar and for practical reasons, handed the agent a virtual credit card and pin code. It was a green route to taking money out.”

Quoting a renowned Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias, Sun Sports reported that the 36-year-old Ronaldo submitted a statement to the police after flying to the court to meet up with his lawyer.

The travel agent, who currently works as a cleaner, was first interrogated in 2011 before her eventual sentence on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

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I am Getting Better, Says Hospitalised Pele

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Brazilian football legend Pele said Sunday he is “punching the air” to celebrate “every better day” after the 80-year-old suffered his latest health scare.

“As you can see, I’m punching the air in celebration of every better day,” Pele wrote on Instagram beside a photograph of him sitting in a hospital chair, watched over by two medical staff.

The three-time World Cup winner was Friday briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month, after suffering breathing difficulties.

“A good mood is the best medicine and I have plenty of that. It couldn’t be different,” he added Sunday.

“I have received so much affection that my heart is full of gratitude. Thanks to all the amazing staff at Albert Einstein Hospital!”

His condition had been described as stable.

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital on Friday, seeking to cheer up his fans.

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We Won’t Accept Second Position in 2023 – NEF

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The Northern Elders Forum has said the north was in the process of rebuilding itself and was not prepared to play second fiddle in a nation where it clearly enjoys numerical strength.

Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Lecture Series organized by the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on Saturday.

He said, “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and democracy says vote whom you want.

“Why should we accept a second class position when we know we can buy a form and contest for first class and we will win?

“Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership and being honest is not being stupid.

“The North has pride; we are humble enough to know that we are going to run Nigeria with other people but we are not going to pay a second fiddle to anybody. We may not have the most robust economy, there are people who are trying to strangulate us even more than we are being strangled.

“We are ready for this. We will consider every economic adversity, challenge. We will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.

“Whether the North holds power in 2023 or not anybody who wants to break up in this country will say so, they are just looking for excuses. This is democracy. If they don’t like what Nigeria is, they will say they want to break up from this country, we don’t pay attention to those people, we are focused on the fact that we are running a democratic system.

The NEF’s spokesman added, “If the majority of Nigeria voters vote for a candidate from the North and he becomes the President and somebody doesn’t want to live under the Nigeria President, the person can leave.”

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