Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye, a renowned historian has confirmed the arrest of Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho.
In a statement confirming the arrest, Akintoye who leads the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Oodua, added that he and others are “working to assist for Igboho to prevent his extradition into Nigeria,” adding that “The Benin Republic is a land that respects the rules of law”.
The statement signed by Aknitoye was made available to newsmen by his Communications Manager, Mr Maxwell Adeleye. The statement had the title “Igboho: There’s A Strong Possibility That Extradition Request Of Nigerian Government May Be Rejected By Benin Republic”.
It read in part, “I received last night the troubling information that Chief Sunday Adeyemo fondly called Igboho had been arrested at the Cotonou Airport”.
“I and other Yoruba Patriots who are immediately available are now working to assist necessary to ensure that nobody will be able to do to him anything unlawful or primitive and to prevent him from being extradited into Nigeria which is strongly possible.
“What the situation now calls for is that the Yoruba nation at home and in the diaspora must stand strong, resolve that neither Sunday Igboho nor any other Yoruba person will henceforth be subjected to the inhuman or dehumanizing treatment of any kind”.
Akintoye, therefore, called on all Yoruba people “within and beyond the shores of Nigeria to come out and ensure that their ancestral land is not defeated by invaders”.
“We the Yoruba nation is, by the grace of God, a very strong nation. We must arise now to show that strength”.
“For a start, we must all see to it now that Sunday Ighoho will get his freedom back to be able to move and operate as a free person. We all know he has committed no crime”.
“We know that some people are trying to suppress or even eliminate him only because he stood up to defend his kinsmen, women and children who are being massively killed and raped in their ancestral homeland; who are having their assets and means of livelihood destroyed, and who are facing ethnic cleansing and even genocide without having the benefit of protection by the rulers of their country”.
“We know, furthermore, that for the protection of his people who are being brutalized, he has joined hands with many of his brethren to take the legally appropriate step, namely to seek the intervention of the International Criminal Court,” Akintoye said.
According to Punch Yoruba leaders, including monarchs, have rallied support for Sunday Igboho who was arrested in the Benin Republic. It was also confirmed that lawyers have been mobilized to stop Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.