The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has told the federal government to stop chasing shadows in arresting Sunday Igboho but focus on solving the challenges facing the country.
The group in a statement on Tuesday by its spokesperson, Alex Ogbonnia said if the real challenges facing Nigeria are not tackled by the government, more people in the mold of Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu will continue to emerge no matter the arrest and intimidation by security forces.
Rather the statement charged security operatives to channel their energy towards combating the menace of Boko Haram, bandits, and Fulani herdsmen destroying farms.
Ohanaeze spoke on the heels of reports that Igboho has been arrested on Monday in Benin Republic by security operatives based on instructions from the federal government of Nigeria and is also planning to repatriate him to Nigeria.
The statement reads: “The Nigeria security operatives have in recent time shown that they have teeth and can bite. The question on every mouth is whether they can apply similar zeal in treating the Boko Haram kingpins, Fulani herdsmen, the north-west bandits, etc. The foregoing selective efficiency of the security operatives elicits the reason for the making of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a. Sunday Igboho,” the statement reads.
“One of the departing admonitions of Pope John Paul II, was “if you want peace, then work for justice”. It is an age-old maxim founded on reason, experience and truth that the only way for peace to reign in society is for justice to be seen to be served to all.
“We recall that Chief Sunday Igboho emerged in the scene because he could not endure the daily menace of the Fulani herdsmen in the Yoruba localities for a very long time. The herdsmen would kill, maim and rape women at random. All entreaties to the presidency for swift action against the AK-47 wielding herdsmen appeared to fall on deaf ears. Then Igboho in a patriotic heroic zeal intervened to save the rural farmers, women and children from the daily menace of the herdsmen.
“There is no gainsaying the military operations against the Boko Haram in the north-east of Nigeria, but the rate at which the herdsmen destroy farm crops, attack villages, kill the indigenes and forcefully occupy their ancestral lands is most callous, unconscionable and condemnable. This is where the intervention of the presidency is most needed and of course, the Igboho paradox.
“The cause of the agitations is the obvious injustice in federal public policies. Measures should rather be taken to address the causes of the agitations and only then can Nigeria have peace and sustainable economic growth.
“On the other hand, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho who wittingly or unwittingly are now seen as heroes by their people, are but the products of an unjust society. Therefore, a concerted effort in search of the Kanus and the Igbohos without addressing the basis of the agitation is an effort in futility. Otherwise, other Kanus and Igbohos will sooner than later emerge.”
The Ohanaeze statement called on the federal government to “embrace equity, justice and fairness in public policy formulations and execution”, adding that the “various forms of agitation in Nigeria is an effect and not a cause in itself”.
Meanwhile, Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, who was reportedly arrested on Monday has not been released.
Igboho was arrested by the security forces in Benin Republic about three weeks after the Department of State Services declared him wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms, an allegation he has since denied.
But reports emerged on Tuesday evening claiming that the agitator has been released and flown to Germany.
Speaking in a zoom conversation organized by Heritage Multimedia TV, Professor Wale Adeniran dismissed such reports, stressing that Igboho is still being held by the Beninoise authorities.
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