Various groups and individuals have continue to react differently to the arrest of Yoruba Nation’s crusader Sunday Igboho.
Igboho who left the Country weeks ago after his house in Ibadan was invaded by operatives of security agencies was arrested on Monday evening at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou,Benin Republic while trying to leave the country for Germany.
According to local media Igboho was “disembarked from his plane, arrested by the Beninese police while he was trying to travel for Germany and then transferred to the Cotonou Criminal Brigade”
Reacting to his arrest on Tuesday the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) condemned the partial action of the the Nigerian government.
It said that the selective arrests of mainly Southern agitators whilst pampering and petting Fulani terrorists is at variance with Chapter 4Section 42 of the Nigerian Constitution
HURIWA in a statement issued by its National Coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko expressed concern why the Muhammadu Buhari Led government failed to prosecute Fulani Militial and Miyetti Allah cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria ,as terror groups despite the killings of Southern and Christians farmers in the country.
The statement read, “The selective arrests of mainly Southern Nigerian born agitators whilst pampering and petting Fulani terrorists is a at variance to Chapter 4. Section 42 of the Nigerian Constitution which represents the Right To Freedom From Discrimination.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has clearly demonstrated to the World that it is only out to stop crusaders in Southern Nigeria who have effectively activated mechanisms for checking and slowing down the incessant violence and terror attacks against communities all over Southern Nigeria by armed Fulani militia supported by Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.
“The administration of Muhammadu Buhari by fiercely going after Sunday Igboho of the Yoruba self determination agitation platform and Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous People of Biafra and then maintaining unpatriotic silence and active conspiratorial silence on the dastardly terrorists activities of Muhammadu Buhari’s kinsmen and bandits including those who shot down a military jet in Zamfara State.
“The government by this latest clampdown on Sunday Igboho has demonstrated unambiguous evidence of supporting the agenda of MIYETTI ALLAH CATTLE BREEDERS ASSOCIATION which only few days back made senseless allegation that South West Governors are providing refuge for Sunday Igboho even when the gentleman has committed no crime but is being framed up over trumped up charges made the Department of State Services that seems to be working in cahoot with the Fulani ethnic warriors.
“His arrest is illegal and unconstitutional because his declaration as a wanted person in the first instance was a nullity because he is staying away for his safety and to avoid the cruel fate that befell his associates who were murdered by security agency in Ibadan.
“HURIWA recalled that the Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, was reportedly arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic even as the Federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari is said to be making moves to repatriate him back to Nigeria.
“The freedom crusader Sunday Igboho whose only crime is speaking out against the incessant invasions of Yoruba ancestral lands by armed Fulani herdsmen was arrested at an airport in Cotonou on Monday night, a top source familiar with the matter stated.
“We think Mr. Sunday Igboho is a prisoner of conscience just like Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who was illegally abducted in Kenya and repatriated to Nigeria. In the case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, he alleged that his life was threatened when soldiers invaded his father’s palace but in the case of Sunday Igboho he ran to save his dear life because there were imminent threats to his life and those of his affiliates only because they took action to chase out the invading armed Fulani herdsmen.
“Nigerians should ask the President to declare Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and the armed Fulani attackers bombarding all parts of Nigeria as terrorists groups or else it should be noted by all and sundry that President Muhammadu Buhari is actually supporting the agenda of these Fulani terrorists to destabilise Nigeria in their attempts to take away lands from natives of communities in the South and other Christian dominated areas in Northern Nigeria.
The Yoruba Global Alliance has faulted the arrest of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, in Benin Republic.
The group in a press statement on Tuesday by its Director of Public Communication, Taju Tijani, cautioned the Federal Government not to brutalise Igboho.
The group regretted that in the 21st century “Nigerians are recording a muscular form of democracy” under the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)’s regime.
The Yoruba group accused Buhari of “retreating into a dangerous dictator bent on grounding Nigeria in shame among the comity of nations”.
Part of the statement read, “We are witnessing the sudden and shocking re-emergence of military chauvinism in virtually all areas of our national life. Sunday Igboho emerged like a messianic figure and with his disarming simplicity and humility was able to enlarge a circle of mutual trust and solidarity with his Yoruba tribe at a defining moment when his tribe faced genocide from Fulani herdsmen.
“We are aware that Nigeria has morphed into a “one chance” democracy that is bent on defending Fulani sectarian interest, curtail freedom, and use military clampdown on opposition figures. This totalitarian impulse ferment in ignorance, oppression, fear, and moral defeat. President Buhari has been deploying the logic of the ghetto to hunt self-determination groups while cuddling and pampering Fulani herdsmen, murderous bandits, merciless kidnappers, and criminals across Northern Nigeria.
“He must go through and exhaust all the judicial processes pertaining to extradition between Nigeria and Republic of Benin and must have legal representation all the way. The public must know the type of crime Igboho committed to being declared wanted as we do not believe in the earlier trump up framing of stock pilling arms and ammunition levelled against him by the Nigerian state.
“The ongoing backward, illiterate, lawless and military form of stripping Nigerian protesters, self-determination and oppositional groups of their liberty and freedom under this ignoble All Progressives Congress-led government of President Buhari must be recorded for accountability at the appropriate time.”
On his part, a Constitutional lawyer and activist Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, titled his reaction ” The arrest of Yoruba Nation’s crusader: Pursuing the shadow,not the substance
His reaction read as follows:”The FG appears supersonically effective and efficacious when it comes to arresting and repatriating dissenters and challengers of its morbid nepotic and sectionalisitic government.
“The same government paradoxically appears absymally weak and hopelessly helpless when it comes to fighting AK-47 wielding armed bandits, Boko Haram and other deadly insurgents, including ransom-taking kidnappers who are almost kidnapping the very heart and soul of Nigeria on a daily basis. The Nigerian Nation appears captured by non state actors.
“To me, this lopsided template demonstrates acute intolerance and ambivalence. It shows self contradiction. It shows an inclination towards enforcing laws against certain people, against certain classes of people, while at the same time turning away the other eye in enforcing laws against the other preferred and pampered set of people.
“Such does not make a nation grow.Such does not make democracy work.Such does not build confidence and inclusiveness, the very reasons for the Igbohos and Nnmdi Kanus of this world. Such does not enjoin patriotism and building of nationhood.
“The same government that is suddenly effective in the case of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho have never been able to capture kidnappers, armed bandits and boko haram that are daily ravaging us ,turning Nigeria into sprawling field of human carnage. They take ransom. Innocent school children are paid for.Where is the same government when kidnappers are demanding that the parents of kidnapped children should now be feeding them in their kidnap dens ?
“But,it suddenly becomes effective and audacious when it comes to arresting and even ambushing and attacking in their very homes ,self determination activists and crusaders. I am not impressed with this at all.
“The government may thump its chest for temporary gains. But, does this solve the problem? see this as merely pursuing butterflies while the house is on fire.Recall history: Major Kaduna Nzeogwu Chukwuma. Isaac Adaka Boro, Ken Saro-Wiwa .The Ogoni 5. Are we out of the woods? I do not think so. Or, do you?