…why Obasanjo, Ooni, Olubadan, others intervened – Afenifere
The leader of the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, Professor Banji Akintoye, has disclosed that the body, other groups are working hard to secure the release of embattled Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, who is on trial in Benin Republic.
The Nation reports Igboho has been in detention since July 19, 2021 when he was arrested by Interpol at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou.
He was arrested with his wife, Ropo, but the Cour De’appal De Cotonou ordered the release of the Germany-based wife of the activist, saying there were no allegations against her.
Akintoye in a statement made available to The Nation by his Communications Manager, Maxwell Adeleye, described some media reports (Not The Nation) that he has left Nigeria to escape the plots of the government to arrest him as untrue.
Akintoye explained he is Benin Republic to coordinate and supervise how to legally rescue the embattled agitator, from government remand as soon as possible.
He stated that Igboho committed no offense against the Nigeria laws to warrant being arrested, intimidated or harassed and he’ll return back to Nigeria as soon as Ighoho is released by the government of Benin Republic to continue the struggle for the actualisation of Yoruba Nation.
“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 and other means, the struggle for the release of our son and patriot, Sunday Adeyemo Igboho, detained by the Government from custody.
“By demanding peaceful self-determination for the Yoruba Nation, i am not breaking any law, since self-determination is recognized 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 organizations.
“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.
“Let me tell all Yoruba People across the world that there’s no cause for alarm. I didn’t flee to anywhere. I am in Benin Republic running your errands. The struggle is no retreat, no surrender.”
Akintoye also debunked the media reports that Igboho has been abandoned, and that the embattled agitator is personally funding the court cases against the governments of Nigeria and Benin Republic respectively to secure his (Igboho) and his aides’ release.
Meanwhile, Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, has given reasons for the interventions of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and Olubadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, in Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho’s matter.
Amid Igboho’s travails, the Ooni of Ife set up a committee and sent a delegation to Benin Republic alongside Olubadan to observe one of the court proceedings on Igboho’s case.
The Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also tacitly confirmed that Yoruba leaders are working “behind the scene” on Sunday Igboho’s matter.
Before Sanwo-Olu’s comment, Southern governors had asked DSS to inform them before carrying out major operations in the states. This was a few days after Igboho’s house was raided by DSS leading to the loss of lives.
On Saturday, the Special Assistant on Media to Obasanjo, Kehinde Akinyemi, confirmed that Nigerian ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, met with the President of the Republic of Benin, Patrice Talon, in the first week of August.
“Obasanjo was in Benin Republic on Monday and he met with the President but nobody knew what they discussed,” Akinyemi said.
Reacting, Organising Secretary of Afenifere, Abagun Kole Omololu, commended the Yoruba leaders for their intervention.
He said the Yoruba leaders intervened because they do not believe that Igboho will get just if extradited to Nigeria from Benin Republic.
Omololu said, “Obasanjo is a Yoruba man first before becoming a president. Yoruba leaders are not noisemakers, they don’t make noise, they act. Look at the way we fought the NADECO battle, it was intellectually coordinated.
“Obasanjo won’t want Yorubaland to be disgraced. We all know that Federal Government is after the Yoruba nation, not Igboho. Obafemi Awolowo tried his best but was rolled into prison. MKO Abiola was killed.
“We want a bigger Nigeria that is working. It is restructuring or Yoruba Nation.
“Ooni and Olubadan are Yoruba men before they are Nigerians. They have to look after their children. They will not allow Sunday to be extradited. This government is lawless, they believe in brutality, not legality.
“Igboho is a social crusader, not a terrorist. He is protecting his people after the government failed and he didn’t kill anyone throughout his agitation. He is after the criminals. Why is the government defending the criminals? Sunday should be treated as a hero.
“Obasanjo and the monarchs have shown that they are full-blooded Yoruba persons. We applaud Baba Obasanjo. God will continue to raise the Yoruba Nation up.
“We are peace-loving. If the Yoruba Nation is peaceful, every part of Nigeria will benefit from it. Nobody is now safe in Yorubaland, If they have the chance, they can attack Obasanjo too.
“This administration has divided Nigeria so much. We are praying that this administration should end soon. This government has destroyed so many things.
“Federal Government should be considerate now by the efforts of the Yoruba leaders. Obasanjo is the father of Africa and he must be respected.”