Soyinka Appeals To Beninese Govt To Free Igboho

293 Viewed Obiajulu Joel Nwolu 0 respond
Soyinka Appeals To Beninese Govt To Free Igboho
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has asked the government of Republic of Benin to released Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, presently being held in prison custody in Benin.

Speaking with journalists in Lagos on Friday during an interactive session titled, “Sanctions on the loose: Chasing the gnat with a sledgehammer,” the elder statesman said the secessionist committed no known crime against Nigeria.

Men of the Department of State Services on July 1, 2021, raided the Ibadan, Oyo State home of the activist, killed two and arrested 12 of his aides.

Igboho later fled to the Republic of Benin where he was arrested alongside his wife on July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjehoun Airport in Cotonou on their way to Germany.

His wife, Ropo, was released and Igboho is facing illegal migration charges in the Republic of Benin and seeking asylum to evade Federal Government’s request for his extradition to face allegations of stockpiling arms which he had denied.

Reacting to the development, Soyinka condemned the Federal Government’s role in Igboho’s travails.

Soyinka stated, “This is an appeal to the government of the Republic of Benin. Why are you keeping the victim in your prison? What crime did he commit against your state that you are holding him in prison, instead of letting him continue his journey? Igboho has not committed any crime against any known law in this nation. Thus, to ask for his repatriation is adding insult to injury. You invaded his house, destroyed his property, chased him into the wilderness and you are pursuing him. We ask the government of the Republic of Benin to release the man to continue his business which was interrupted unjustly. Please, rectify this error and don’t compound any further by holding Sunday Igboho in prison one day long.”

Also, the playwright decried the incessant abductions of pupils by bandits in the North, urging the United Nations to wade into the matter to protect the pupils.

He added, “We are calling on the United Nations to intervene and stop this slave trade; to live up to its noble intentions, declarations and rescue these children and put a stop to this act. If Nigeria continues to stand on her sovereignty, I leave this to the experts, I am talking as a layman, I think the protocols of the UN enable the organisation to declare sections of this country under the UN. If the government has failed to protect its own people and failed to fulfil its responsibility under protocols it’s a signatory to, the UN has a right and responsibility to declare those zones UN protectorates. We don’t want what we are undergoing now to become the new normal peculiar to the Nigerian nation.’’

On Buhari’s recent order for the review of 368 grazing routes in 25 states across the country, Soyinka stated, “He doesn’t seem to hear things. Virtually the whole nation is screaming, ‘We don’t want any open cattle grazing; whether they go by the name; cattle routes or grazing reserves.’ Around the nation, we have opinions surmounting the antiquated modes of cattle rearing. Even the all-powerful, untouchable Miyetti Allah, patron of the Fulani herdsmen, has gone on record to say ranching is what they want. When all that has been settled in rational terms and then we hear a new version of RUGA. Why is this President obsessed about something being rejected right, left and centre?” The obsession is on such a level that even people who consider themselves rational like myself begin to wonder if this is really about cattle or an agenda that we don’t know about? Like the Yoruba will say, “Eleyi koja oju lasan (Roughly translated to mean an act that defies logic).”

The essayist also faulted the infraction letter sent to Channels Television by the National Broadcasting Commission for some comments purportedly made against Buhari by two guests who featured on a programme on the station.

He described the letter titled, “Notice of Infraction,’’ as one of the most outstanding semi-illiterate kinds of official queries.

“Decree 4 has no place in a democracy. It’s about time we emphasised and demonstrated that in both language and in act,” he stated.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

Don't miss the stories followAfrican News Today and let's be smart!
Loading...
0/5 - 0
You need login to vote.
Nigeria Must Continue To Exist: Obasanjo Rules Out Yoruba Nation, IPOB

Nigeria Must Continue To Exist: Obasanjo Rules Out Yoruba Nation, IPOB

Why I To Finance CAN Building With Govt Fund – Obasanjo Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has recounted how he refused to finance the completion of a Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) building in Abuja despite being a Christian. He disclosed this while speaking during the Book Launch and 85th Birthday of Eminence Prelate Sunday Mbang of the Methodist Church Nigeria held at the Admiralty Centre, Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos State. The former president, who was the Convener of the programme in honour of Mbang, described the former president of the Christian Association of Nigeria as a lover of Nigeria. The book, a memoir, chronicling the journey of the octogenarian, is titled, ‘My Life and Times.’ Obasanjo, 84, was Nigeria’s president between May 1999 and May 2007. He was also a military head of state from February 1976 to October 1979. The former President recalled, “He (Mbang) asked me in his capacity as the head of the Christian Association in Nigeria that I should bring money to complete the Ecumenical Centre as they called it then, now it is known as National Christian Centre. I said, ‘No, I don’t have; I won’t put government money into that type of thing because if I do it for Christians, I have to do it for Muslims, I have to do it for Babalawo (traditionalist), I have to do it for Sango worshippers. No. “But he insisted. Again, persistence. I had no choice to agree to now become a fundraiser for the completion of the National Christian Centre and I did. I got people together –the rich, the not-so rich, the poor, the not-so poor and we raised money to complete the National Christian Centre. I don’t believe he has been given credit for that work because if he had not gone the way he did, may be that centre will still remain uncompleted till today.” At the programme, he reminisced how “pressure” was mounted on him in 1999 to contest as president after he was released from prison. Obasanjo recalled how he met the cleric before his election in 1999, saying, “I came out of prison and pressure was mounted on me to contest election as president. Initially, I resisted and I said how many presidents do you want to make out of me but the pressure continued to mount. “Then, I caved in. When I caved in, I decided to go round and one of those I visited was the Prelate of the Methodist Church in Nigeria, Sunday Mbang. I haven’t met him before but I made a courtesy call and I said, ‘Sir, I have come to see you’ but before I finished, he said, ‘I will not vote for you and I don’t know what you come here for’.” He said though the cleric might not had voted for him but he won the election. “As the President of CAN and me, a Christian, he then became my boss religiously and I became his boss politically and of necessity, we had to work together. Somehow, interest started developing. This man who will say it as it is a man that you need to have around you so that you can say it as it is,” he said. Despite the resounding secessionist agitations as well as many local and international predictions that Nigeria is close to becoming a failed state and will soon break up, Obasanjo said Nigeria would continue to exist no matter what happens. The former President noted that the enemies of the West African nation with over 200 million people won’t win in their agenda to see the breakup of the country. He also said the cost of staying together as a nation was cheaper than the cost of dividing Nigeria. Obasanjo said he would continue to work for the peace and progress of a united Nigeria, adding that the “many enemies” who don’t want to see the country’s continued co-existence would fail. The former head of state made the statement at a time when secessionists’ agitations, fuelled by perceived injustice and worsening security situation, have increased across the country especially in Southern Nigeria. The administration of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has been battling with secession groups including the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra led by detained Nnamdi Kanu; including the Yoruba Nation separatist group spearheaded by Prof Banji Akintoye and embattled Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.

Why I To Finance CAN Building With Govt Fund – Obasanjo

Related posts
Your comment?
Leave a Reply