By Dayo Johnson, Deola Badru, Shina Abubaka & James Ogunnaike
YORUBA Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, fondly called Sunday Igboho and his wife, Ropo, were arrested on Monday, July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, the Republic of Benin on their way to GermanyThe Beninese authorities released Ropo – the agitator’s wife, while the 48-year-old activist was returned to police custody.
The Nigerian government is pressing Beninese authorities to extradite Ighoho to Nigeria. But Yoruba leaders and elders have risen in defence of Igboho as they called on the Federal Government to leave the freedom fighter alone.
I’m praying for him not to be extradited- Falae
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae expressed optimism that Igboho will not be extradited.
Falae said: “The Nigerian government is doing all it can to extradite him. I think all of us the Yoruba’s should support the legal process to ensure that he is not extradited.
“We should stand by him in prayers so that the plan of the Federal government would not come through. That’s what all of us should be doing and that is what I am doing. I am praying for him not to be extradited.
“The Yoruba’s should do everything to support the legal process in any way we can and am sure God will intervene and deliver him.
“What Igboho stands for, which is self-determination for the Yoruba was fuelled because the present administration’s refusal to allow the restructuring of the country. Refusal of the government to listen to the voice of the people is giving rise to all these agitations across the country.”
He’s crusading for Yoruba nation—Olajide, YCE scribe
Also, secretary of the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide said: “Sunday Igboho should not be left alone. He is not even left alone, because a lot of actions are going on behind the scenes. So, he is not left alone at all.
“He is crusading for the Yoruba nation and he has not committed any offence at all. So any Yoruba man who has not committed any offence and he is being victimised, people will rise up for such a person. Nothing will happen to Sunday Igboho.
“And I will not support his extradition to Nigeria. It is absolutely no. It is obvious the way his house was invaded in the dead of the night and it led to loss of human lives, property was destroyed and the security agencies of government claimed responsibility for such an act.
“To the best of my knowledge, such an act is lawless in a democratic country. To bring him back to Nigeria is like sacrificing his life. He should not be extradited at all. That’s what everybody is working towards.”
FG foolishly making Igboho a hero Omololu, Afenifere stalwart
Also speaking, the National Organising Secretary of Afenifere, Apagun Kole Omololu said: “It has been the form and tactics of enslavers to kill a fly with a sledgehammer. This government is not pretending that it has no stomach for civilised conduct in governance, it prefers brutish and oppressive method.They are foolishly making Igboho a hero thereby enhancing the propensity for the populace to identify with his crusade.
“It is just an irony, with the near break down of law and order in the country, the government is making Igboho, a mere social crusader, a subject of attention while being helpless and overwhelmed by evil Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani terrorists and kidnappers sponsored openly by Miyetti Allah.
“The Fulani came to Igangan, Igboho’s area to massacre innocent citizens, the federal government did not say or word of comfort, Igboho rose to defend the helpless family, now the government is attacking him.
“They took the war to his house and murdered eight residents. Running for his life, he was waylaid in the Benin Republic.“How I wish we have a government who has the feeling of the citizens at heart rather than waging war against them. This government is indolent, heartless and clueless.
“No government in the history of this country has been this evil. They should use the remaining few months to redeem themselves and leave Sunday Adeyemo alone.”
FG could set the country on fire — Elebuibon
On his part, a foremost Yoruba cultural enthusiast and traditionalist, Araba Ifayemi Elebuibon urged the Federal Government to, in the interest of the country’s unity; allow Sunday Adeyemo to live a free life.He said the Federal Government has no reasonable ground to persecute the Yoruba freedom fighter for merely participating in, or organising violent free protests demanding independence for his people.
According to Elebuibon, agitation for secession is a creation of the Federal Government inadequacy among the different ethnic groups across the country.
He said: “The present treatment the Federal Government is meting out to Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu showed bias, particularly compared with the way bandits are treated in the northern parts and killer herdsmen across the country.“My strong view is that the action of the Federal Government through its security agencies against Igboho would end up creating more freedom fighters in the country, more dangerous persons would follow the path with a view becoming a hero for his people.
“Unfortunately, Federal Government is not learning from history, Ken Saro Wiwa advocated for Niger-Delta right peacefully but was silenced by the then Military Junta, afterwards, brutal young men inherited the struggle and almost ruined the economy of the country down, the government was forced to sit down with them.
“So, if the government is not very careful with the manner it is handling the Igboho issue, it could be counter-productive. He has only led peaceful protests across the southwest states, no one was killed nor property destroyed, only for the government’s security operatives, particularly the DSS to invade his house, killed two persons, injured many and even destroys his personal property without valid ground.
That could energise more young people to dare government more.“I am of the view that the Federal Government need to initiate a reconciliation between and among the different ethnic groups and agitators to understand their grievances and the best way to resolve the growing tension, but if it continues in this direction, it could likely escalate tension in the country more.”
Buhari should focus on terrorists, kidnappers instead of Igboho—Banjo
Also speaking, a former governorship candidate of Ogun State, Mr. Lanre Banjo, said the attack on Igboho’s residence could be described as one of the saddest and barbaric events in the country.Banjo said: “For the operatives of the DSS to have declared him wanted after his miraculous escape is disgusting, uncivilized and it is the height of contemptuous governmental hooliganism.
“In this unsecured nation, how could a government agent break into a citizen’s home in an unholy hour, vandalized his property, killed an innocent person and carted away his personal belongings.
“The current insecurity in the country and the failure of the President, who is the Chief Security officer of the country to provide security for the citizens brought about Sunday Igboho and the likes who are agitating for secession.
“For God’s sake, how does Igboho’s traditional bulletproof procured to defend himself and carted away from his home become illegal and exhibit when the government already said we are on our own, it can’t protect us.
“Though he has been arrested in the Benin Republic, the government of Benin Republic has no legal basis to extradite him to Nigeria, for the following reasons.
“He has not committed any violation of known Nigerian laws. The Nigerian government ridiculed itself by charging him for trafficking arms and inciting violence that could result in social disturbance without evidence. The government of the Benin Republic would consider the baseless charges bogus and untenable in law and insufficient to warrant his extradition.
“Nigeria and Benin Republic do not appear to have an extradition agreement. It would be a natural crime for any government to extradite a human being to be murdered.”