A former National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in charge of Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti States, Professor Lai Olurode, has cautioned the Federal Government (FG) to treat Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho, with respect.
Olurode said the FG should allow Igboho, who was arrested in Cotonou airport on his way to Germany on Monday night, to have access to legal representation.
He also has argued that the arrest of Igboho and the leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, won’t end agitations in Nigeria.
The former INEC chief, who spoke with reporters after Eid-el-Kabir prayer at The WING School, Iwo, Osun State on Tuesday, advised the FG to engage Igboho and Kanu’s groups and followers to discuss the way forward.
Olurode said: “I don’t think individuals should challenge state institutions. How I wished Igboho didn’t allow himself to be arrested, I wished he had submitted himself to authorities when he was declared wanted.
“Of course, there will be legal representation for him but it is going to be an ordeal for him. I hope he will not be mistreated.”
He added: “The way the FG handles Igboho’s case will portray the state either in a good manner or bad. Now that he is arrested, the state has demonstrated his formidability as an institution.
“I will only caution that he should be treated with respect and access to legal representation. He should be accorded the right as a citizen of Nigeria. The state should be magnanimous enough to show the world that this is a decent country.
“Arrest of Igboho and Kanu will not end the agitation. FG should reach out to the groups of Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu to discuss on the way forward.
“Those two individuals are just mere representatives of worries and concerns. The State shouldn’t be seen by relating some sets with sticks while others with carrots.”