A former National Commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), , has argued that the arrest of Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Igboho and leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu won’t end agitations.
The Professor of Sociology at the University of Lagos, Lai Olurode advised the government to further engage their groups and followers on how to douse tension.
He said Igboho, who was arrested in Cotonou airport on his way to Germany on Monday night, should have turned himself in the moment he was declared wanted by the Department of State Security (DSS).
Olurode, who spoke with reporters after Eid-el-Kabir prayer at The WING School, Iwo, Osun State on Tuesday, said Igboho shouldn’t have tried to escape arrest.
He 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 going to be an ordeal for him. I hope he will not be maltreated.”
On how the Federal Government should handle Igboho, he said: “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 way forward.
“Those two individuals are just mere representatives of worries and concerns. The State should not be seen by relating with some set with sticks while others with carrots.”
He added: “The State should demonstrate that there is no untouchable in the country. People believe that some people who are so drastic and draconian are been treated with glove hands.
“The State should communicate in equivocal statements to committed in uphold law and order. That civil institution should be the way to go to resolving the crisis of development that we are confronted with.”