By Alao Abiodun and Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
Supporters of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a Sunday Igboho), turned out in their numbers at Cour De’appal De Cotonou for his trial.
The Yoruba-speaking supporters from both the Southwest in Nigeria and Benin Republic were in the court to ensure that Igboho was either freed or received fair hearing.
They were said to have been mobilised by a Yoruba rights group, Isokan Omo Odudua.
Also at the court was a delegation sent by Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and Olubadan of Ibadanland Oba Saliu Adetunji.
The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, praised Oba Ogunwusi and Oba Adetunji for sending the team.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, Afenifere also lauded Yoruba communities in Benin Republic for ensuring that Igboho, an Oduduwa son, did not suffer unjustly.
The group argued that the agitator’s travail ought not to have occurred, if there had been good governance in Nigeria.
The statement partly reads: “It is so sad that President Muhammadu Buhari‘s administration is concentrating on hunting and harassing those who are seeking relief from the oppressive situation in Nigeria while shying away from tackling kidnapping, terrorism, and other issues bordering on ethnic cleansing.
“By its conduct, the government is giving people reasons to believe the allegation that it is pursuing a Fulanisation agenda.
“Harassment of freedom agitators and innocent citizens must stop forthwith” Afenifere warned..”
Read Alos: Sunday Igboho not abandoned, says Sanwo-Olu
But some youths from the 17 states in the South said the Yoruba Nation agitator must face trial.
The youth, under the aegis of Southern Youth Forum (SYF), said that the political narratives about Igboho’s arrest and his possible extradition to Nigeria should be of concern to patriotic Nigerians.
The leaders of the forum, John Atani (Southsouth), Fidelis Nze (Southeast) and Oladimeji Odeyemi (Southwest), who addressed reporters on the Igboho saga in Lagos said Igboho was not a freedom fighter, but a known political thug, smuggler, and land grabber.
They said: “As youths, we don’t think leaders who vowed to protect the sanctity of our Constitution should fold their hands and look away while some inept clout-chasers destroy the legacy of our heroes past when they actually possess passports of other countries.
“You can’t incite war in a multi-diverse country like Nigeria and not be there when the battle commends. Our findings indicate that the said Igboho was using his one-man show for personal gains but we trust that the law will take its due course on his matter when he is eventually extradited to Nigeria.
“The same man does not have his wife and children in Nigeria. What kind of mouthpiece was that?
“Those pushing Igboho on are aware of his antecedents as a political thug, a serial smuggler and land grabber, but they decided to deodorise him with the nomenclature of a freedom fighter to serve their interests, which is largely political.
“It beats our imagination that even those considered to be educated view Igboho as a Yoruba freedom fighter.
Time will tell on those staying in United States, Europe, and other parts of the world who are giving moral and financial support to such a known social misfit.
“For us, this freedom fighter is not our freedom fighter. Igboho and his cohorts must surely face the full wrath of our laws. “