The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) at the weekend cautioned the Federal Government to desist from any attempt to clamp down on self determination agitators, insisting that such could only fuel national crisis.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent attack on Yoruba nation activist Sunday Adeyemo Igboho’s Soka residence where two persons were allegedly killed,and the last week arrest in Cotonou, Republic of Benin,OPC in statement by its Publicity Secretary,Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, flayed Federal Government’s approach in Igboho’s ordeals,maintaining that the use and application of force on self determination agitators has only justified Federal Government’s lack of respect to human rights and intolerance to the views of others.
While condemning last Monday arrest of Sunday Igboho by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, the OPC publicity scribe described the treatment meted out to Igboho in Nigeria and also in Cotonou as very unpleasant, insisting that Federal Government ought to know that the citizens have rights,and that such rights must be protected under the law.
“Unfolding events have shown that there are lapses in the way the FG handles cases of self-determination agitators like Sunday Igboho, and I will like to state it clearly that the FG must desist from clamping down on self determination agitators,because such move can only fuel national crisis”
Oguntimehin,while urging the Benin Republic government to be fair to Igboho, considering the nature of his offence and the constitutionality of his rights to seek asylum in a foreign land, said Igboho will be facing immigration- related offences in Cotonou, he can also seek asylum to ensure his safety.
“The FG has been silent on the extradition order because it might trigger more crisis. You cannot treat Igboho the Nnamdi Kanu way, it would not work, so I am appealing to the FG to learn from history and ensure that the fundamental human rights of the citizens are protected in such a way that we can begin to appreciate the fact that we truly follow the tenets of democracy”.
Meanwhile, contrary to insinuations, Nigeria and Benin have no extradition agreement,and Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
“What Federal Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence and the Government of Benin Republic had considered all that to be untenable, and insufficient to warrant extradition”
“The case has been adjourned till today, Monday 26th July to allow the Federal Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
The OPC chieftain also urged all Yoruba groups,the traditional rulers and other well-meaning Nigerians not to leave Igboho in the lurch at this trying moment, declaring that the embattled Yoruba nation agitator had been peaceful in his self determination approach and he deserves to enjoy his liberty whereever he is in the world.
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