OLUWO of Iwoland Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi has urged Yoruba monarchs and elders to get together and engage President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to drop the charges against Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo currently being held in Benin Republic.
Mr Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, is currently in detention in the Republic of Benin after being arrested by the authorities there at the request of Nigeria. he was about to board a plane to Germany when he was apprehended and a legal battle has since ensued with his lawyers trying to get him released, while Nigeria wants him extradited.
Caught inbetween a rock and a hard place, the Beninoise government is being squeeze by the Nigerian government but is also pressure from its own local Yoruba community, who make up about 10% of the population and are the country’s fourth largest ethnic group. Nigeria on the other hand has traditionally used its control of local borders and economic clout to armtwist her neighbours.
Oba Akanbi, who stated that the release of Mr Igboho would go a long way in strengthening the unity of Nigeria, appealed to Yoruba monarchs to harmonise their interests and get it done. He added that the country’s oneness could be further cemented by the release of Mr Igboho and the Indigenous People of Biafra(Ipob) leader Nnamdi Kanu.
While enjoining President Buhari to honour Yoruba kings and stakeholders, the monarch hinted that such a gesture will also help in convincing Yorubas in the diaspora to respect Nigeria’s unity. He urged the federal government, to as a matter of urgency, relate with Benin Republic and ensure that Mr Igboho is safely returned to Nigeria without having to necessarily go through a trial.
While admonishing Nigerians to continuously exhibit love, maturity and loyalty capable of sustaining the unity of the country, he maintained that such actions will encourage more patriots from Yorubaland. It appears that Oba Akanbi is suggesting something similar to what Igbo leaders put together last week.
Last week a delegation of Igbo leaders paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari where they persuaded him to release Mr Kanu. At the meeting, the President told the delegation that he may consider their request.