Soyinka slams FG over handling of Igboho, Kanu

Samson Folarin

6 July 2021

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Prof Wole Soyinka

Prof. Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has slammed the Federal Government over the invasion of the residence of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, and the manner of the re-arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnmadi Kanu.

Soyinka, who spoke on Monday during an interview on BBC Pidgin, said instead of declaring Igboho wanted, the government should apologise to him for the “criminal” act of attacking his home.

Hesaid the activist’s mission of fighting for the oppressed in the South-West was not wrong in the absence of government intervention.

“My advice to the government is that they should stop pursuing this person as a criminal because you have begun by acting in a criminal fashion against him.

“If and when Igboho comes to trial, I guarantee you the government will be very embarrassed.

“I think they should tell Igboho, ‘We made a mistake, we should not have acted in this way, you are no longer wanted, go back to your home’. In fact, escort him to his home and let him resume his normal life,” headded.

The playwright also faulted the Federal Government for not describing AK-47-wielding herdsmen as terrorists waging a violent insurrection against the Nigerian state.

He said the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria ought to have been apprehended over their past roles and comments.

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“The government cannot wash itself clean on what seems to be a kind of comparative energy in pursuing the destabilised forces in the nation.”

Soyinka also described the extradition of Kanu as a kidnap, saying such acts stood condemned under international law.

He said, “It’s not for me to tell the President to prepare himself because it’s going to be a huge squawk when the truth about how Kanu was arrested comes out. People are alleging this or that. That is one phase whether Nigeria has acted outside international law.

“The second issue, however, has to do with Kanu’s conduct outside the nation. There’s been a level of hate rhetoric which has been unfortunate, from Kanu. Hate rhetoric is an issue that can only be judged by the laws of any nation.

“Was it right to have been kidnapped? You can say ‘intercepted’ as much as you want, but I think Kanu was kidnapped. That is wrong internationally and morally.”