The Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mike Ozekhome and the Human Rights Writers Association, on Tuesday condemned the arrest of the Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi, said that the news of the arrest was a surprise but the body was still studying the situation before making a formal statement as details of the arrest was still sketchy.
He was however quick to add that security agencies appeared to be more active in hunting those who were peacefully agitating for the rights and better deals for their people than they appeared to be in dealing with bandits and terrorists who had deprived thousands of innocent Nigerians of their lives and properties.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide also condemned the concerted efforts of the Federal Government in hounding separatists agitators without addressing the basis of the agitation.
It said that unless the government addressed the basis of the agitation, the concerted efforts in search of the Kanus and the Igbohos would be an effort in futility.
Ohanaeze stated this in a statement issued on Tuesday, titled: ‘concerted effort on Kanu and Igboho is a search for peace without justice”, signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia.
It said “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.
Ohanaeze maintained that “If you want peace, then work for justice”, adding that it was 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.”
Ohanaeze stated that 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 a 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.”
Meanwhile, Ozekhome, and the Human Rights Writers Association, also condemned the Federal Government’s selective enforcement of laws in handling agitations across the country.
In separate statements issued in Abuja, on Tuesday, Ozekhome and HURIWA noted that the Federal Government was effective in arresting Igboho and Kanu, but railed to capture bandits and kidnappers ravaging the country.
Ozekhome’s position was contained in a statement titled ‘The reported arrest of Yoruba Nation crusader: Pursuing the shadow, not the substance.’
He said “The same government that is suddenly effective in the case of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho have never been able to capture kidnappers, bandits and Boko Haram that are daily ravaging us, turning Nigeria into a sprawling field of human carnage.
“They take ransom. Innocent school children are paid for. Where is the same government when kidnappers are demanding that the parents of kidnapped children should now be feeding them in their kidnap dens?
“But it suddenly becomes effective and audacious when it comes to arresting and even ambushing and attacking in their very homes, self-determination activists and crusaders. I am not impressed with this at all. The government may thump its chest for temporary gains. But, does this solve the problem?”