Former Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, has warned the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), against provoking self-determination proponents to start throwing bombs in the country.
The diplomat spoke on Wednesday while featuring on PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable.
The Buhari regime has, in recent times, clamped down on secession agitators from Southern Nigeria. The agitators had set out to break away from Nigeria, citing dissatisfaction, perceived injustice, and insecurity, among others.
Leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services after he was extradited from a foreign country.
Similarly, the Buhari regime had declared Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, wanted and the regime has been pushing for the extradition of the activist who was arrested by Interpol in Benin Republic on Monday at the behest of the Nigerian government.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that Nigeria’s Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.), an immediate past Chief of Army Staff, has been pushing for Igboho’s extradition to Abuja.
However, Igboho’s lead counsel, Yomi Alliyu (SAN), argued that his client could not be extradited because the 1984 Extradition Treaty between Nigeria, Benin and two others excluded political refugees like Igboho and his wife, Ropo, from being extradited.
The PUNCH gathered that the Federal Government planned to extradite the activist on Wednesday (yesterday), but Benin Republic insisted that it would not be part of any process that was against due process.
Speaking on The PUNCH interview programme on Wednesday, former NIIA DG Akinterinwa advised the Federal Government to halt the use of force on agitators and explore amicable resolutions.
The septuagenarian also said Nigeria can’t arm-twist Benin Republic into surrendering Igboho because Benin Republic, like other former French colonies, represents French interest in West Africa. Benin Republic (formerly known as Dahomey) gained full independence from France on August 1, 1960.
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