The President of the Women Arise for Change Initiative, Joe Okei-Odumakin, has urged the government of Benin Republic to immediately release detained Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) and grant his asylum application.
Odumakin noted that it is not safe to extradite Igboho to Nigeria at the moment citing the current fate of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, who is presently in the custody of the Department of State Services.
She added that Igboho would not be safe in the hands of a government that treated terrorists with kid-gloves while applying “the sledgehammer on law-abiding citizens protesting against such terrorists and their wanton destruction of lives and property.”
A statement issued by Odumakin reads, “News of the arrest of the Yoruba self-determination activist, Sunday Adeyemi aka Sunday Igboho, hit like a thunderbolt.
“Reports have now confirmed that he was arrested and is being held by the authorities of the Republic of Benin at an undisclosed location.
”We call on the authorities of the Republic of Benin, democracy and country under law, to speedily process and grant Igboho's asylum application. It is not debatable that Igboho will come to grief if he is extradited to Nigeria under the prevailing circumstances.
“It is most unfortunate that a Nigerian government that treats with kid gloves terrorists of the hues of Boko Haram, herdsmen, and bandits ravaging entire Northern Nigeria applies the sledgehammer on law-abiding citizens protesting against such terrorists and their wanton destruction of lives and property.
“Bearing in mind the way and manner in which Nnamdi Kanu was whisked into Nigeria recently, in circumstances yet to be fully explained, and the various efforts at enacting gag laws by the same Nigerian authorities, there is no denying the fact that fascism is already creeping upon Nigerians.
“The telltale signs of military dictatorship are rearing their ugly heads again under a supposedly democratic government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
"In this wise, it is certain that Igboho cannot be assured safety or justice if extradited to Nigeria.
“He should be released from detention unconditionally and his safety and liberty guaranteed by the Republic of Benin authorities under extant international law.
“The Nigerian authorities are better advised to stop chasing shadows but address the patent dangers posed to the country by the despicable elements it is treating with kid gloves.”