“Igboho Has Committed no Crime,” Allow Him to Continue His Journey — Soyinka to Benin Govt
Professor Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate, has urged the government of the Republic of Benin to release Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho so that he can continue his journey.
On Friday, the playwright spoke with journalists during an interactive session in Lagos.
Soyinka said Igboho’s crime was resisting herdsmen’s tyranny against his people in Oyo State during an interactive session titled “Sanctions on the loose: Chasing the gnat with a sledgehammer.”
“I refuse to believe that Igboho committed any crime other than agitating against tyranny on his people,” he said. He calmly demonstrated his point of view. That does not make me a criminal, in my opinion. Agitating for secession is not a criminal offense if done peacefully. That does not have to be criminalized.
“What the government and security did by raiding Igboho’s house in the middle of the night, killing two of his people, and claiming that they found weapons without a warrant or anything… Who is going to believe that cock and bull tale?”
He also questioned the Benin Republic’s government about why they are keeping Igboho. “Why are you keeping this victim?” he asked. What crime did he commit against your state that you are keeping him instead of allowing him to continue his journey? He has not violated any known law in this country.
“It is not in our constitution to declare a state to be independent. You do not criminalize that action because he is doing it peacefully and collectively within the law.”
In response to NBC’s question to Channels TV, he stated, “Who decides media professionalism?” It’s one of the best semi-illiterate official questions I’ve ever seen. And I’d like to praise the media for having official bodies with symbolic gestures.”
“I believe we have a responsibility to inform the government that if any media institution is sanctioned on such trivial, absolute grounds, we will fulfill our responsibility by mobilizing the nation to boycott all government media and waging a media war against the government.”
“Decree No. 4 has no place in a democracy, and it is past time we demonstrated that both verbally and in action.”
“The president appears deaf to the cries and plights of Nigerians. What I propose is that youths, and especially citizens, take control of the situation by using any of the civil actions available to ensure that the government listens to them and corrects the problems in Nigeria.”