Banji Akintoye, renowned historian and leader of Yoruba Self-determination Group, says the group has mobilised people from Nigeria to prevent the extradition of Sunday Igboho from Benin Republic to Nigeria.
Igboho was arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic, on Monday, and he is believed to held in the country pending completion of extradition processes between Nigeria and the Francophone country.
A statement signed by Akintoye and made available to journalists by Maxwell Adeleye, his communication manager, said Igboho has committed no crime to deserve the treatment that Nigerian government is subjecting him to.
“I received last night the troubling information that Chief Sunday Adeyemo fondly called Igboho had been arrested at the Cotonou Airport,” Akintoye said.
“I and other Yoruba patriots who are immediately available are now working to provide the assistance 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.
“Fortunately, Benin Republic is reliably a land of law where the authorities responsibly obey the law. We have secured the services of a leading and highly respected lawyer whom we can confidently rely on.
“What the situation now calls for is that the Yoruba nation at home and in Diaspora must stand strong, resolved that neither Sunday Igboho nor any other Yoruba person will henceforth be subjected to inhuman or dehumanizing treatment of any kind.
“For a start, we must all see to it now that Sunday Ighoho will get his freedom back so as to be able to move and operate as a free person. We all know he has committed no crime.”
Akintoye said some people are trying to eliminate Igboho because he stood up to fight against the oppression of his people.
“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 home land; 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,” he said.
“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-approriate step, namely to seek the intervention of the International Criminal Court.”