A Diaspora pro-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Oodua Worldwide, yesterday, restated calls for the unconditional release of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, fondly called Sunday Igboho, and four of his aides still held in the Department of State Service, DSS, detention.
Eight aides of Sunday Igboho were released on Monday by the DSS, despite being granted bail since August 4, 2021.
They are Abdullateef Onaolapo, Tajudeen Irinloye, Dikeola Ademola, Ayobami Donald, Uthman Adelabu, Olakunle Oluwapelumi, Raji Kazeem and Taiwo Tajudeen
Four others still being held in detention are Amudat Babatunde, Abideen Shittu, Jamiu Oyetunji and Bamidele Sunday.
But, in a statement, President of the Oodua Worldwide, a Canadian-based organisation, Adewale Ojo, flayed the Federal Government over the crude invasion of Igboho’s house, just as it vowed to fast track the release of Igboho and his four aides still in detention.
Ojo said: “The prompt and unconditional release of Igboho is what can give a credible and unbiased face to a government that is now being seen by many as one with a mission to subdue other nations in Nigeria to favour one.
“The influx of notable Yoruba leaders to Benin Republic and the overwhelming support for Igboho’s course by a majority of Yoruba in Nigeria are clear proof that he was only a crusader of the mindset of his race, majority of who feel so shortchanged in the present Nigerian arrangement and are clamouring for change.”
He condemned the piecemeal approach to the release of Igboho’s aides while their leader is still in Beninoise detention, saying all those arrested ought to have been released together since they were alleged to have committed the same offence.
The group’s president noted that self-determination agitation is a fundamental human right “that should not be met with stiff resistance as being demonstrated by the Nigerian government.”
He wondered why a section of the country has been terrorising the citizens of Nigeria unmolested while Igboho, who is carrying out a peaceful agitation, would be the headache of government.
He said: “We are making this urgent demand that Igboho and his remaining aides in detention should be released immediately to avert a looming danger hovering around Nigeria. We still can’t reconcile why known national tormentors, walk the streets of Nigeria unmolested while those on a popular struggle suddenly became objects of intimidation by our government.
“We are appalled that the nation is fast degenerating and no one seems to care about what would become of a once fledgling country which seems to have lost its soul to petty politicking by those ordained to guide it to fruition.
“We maintain that the only way peace and tranquillity can reign in Nigeria is for the Federal Government to restore hope that a new Nigeria is still a possibility. Anything to the contrary will pose a serious danger to the unity of our country, Nigeria.”
Also speaking, the National Chairman of Ilana Omo Oduduwa, IOO, Dr. Wale Adeniran expressed optimism that Sunday Igboho will be released from Benin Republic prison, noting that his case is purely judicial.
Giving an update on Igboho’s case, Adediran said: “I believe Sunday Adeyemo’s (Igboho) case is purely judicial. As soon as the court resumes from vacation in the Republic of Benin, his case will be expeditiously resolved.”
On the agitation for the Yoruba nation, he said: “Oh yes, the agitation for Yoruba self-determination is not only feasible, but it is also on course and it is gathering momentum amongst the Yoruba at home and in the Diaspora. To the extent that we are going about our agitation peacefully as directed by Ilana Omo Oduduwa worldwide leader, Professor Banji Akintoye, and under the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNDRIP, to self-determination, we are sure that the Yoruba Nation will attain autonomy and sovereignty very soon.
“One of our demands will be a request to the United Nations to come to Nigeria to conduct a referendum in the four zones mentioned above to determine the level of the people’s support for separation from Nigeria. I have no doubt, whatsoever; in my mind that such a referendum will return a massive thumbs-up for an independent and sovereign Yoruba Nation.”