Thursday, October 28, 2021

No-fly List: Modupe Odele goes into exile after ‘second encounter with Immigration’

Ms. Odele was traveling out of Nigeria on New Year’s Eve when the incident allegedly happened at the airport.

• December 31, 2020
Modupe-Odele
Modupe-Odele (Credit: thesparkng.com)

Modupe Odele has proceeded on a journey from Nigeria for ‘a long time,’ she said in a tweet on Thursday morning alleging another brush with Nigerian immigration officials.

“You force me to go on exile from my own country for no crime,” Ms. Odele said “I can’t visit and go as I please anymore. What a shame. I would have missed my flight if I didn’t make those calls. Because the person to do the secondary clearance wasn’t “on sit”.”

Ms. Odele was traveling out of Nigeria on New Year’s Eve when the incident allegedly happened at the airport. It came weeks after she was prevented from traveling out of the country over her role in the historic #EndSARS campaign to end police brutality in Nigeria.

It was unclear why Ms. Odele has been the only one being held amongst her group. Several members of the feminist groups that champion #EndSARS have been travelling without hitch. Dozens of them have been seen in Dubai and the UK since the protests ended with the Nigerian Army massacre of protesters on October 20.

An Immigration spokesman did not immediately return a request seeking comments from the Gazette about Ms. Odele’s claims, which the Gazette has yet to independently verify.

Nigerian government officials and security agents have consistent targeted rights activists, journalists and everyday citizens who took part in the protest that grounded Nigeria for two weeks.

On November 3, Peoples Gazette exclusively reported the Buhari administration’s compilation of a no-fly list that targeted protesters. Although the Gazette did not immediately find Ms. Odele’s name on the list of those targeted by the government, she was nonetheless prevented from traveling on November 1. 

Ms. Odele, who was amongst lawyers that gave legal representation to #EndSARS protesters during the demonstrations, said she had no regrets about the part she took.

“I do not regret anything I did because we did a good thing,” she said. “But the stress that has come with this makes me wonder sometimes if it was worth it. Bugged phones, security agents tailing, bank accounts blocking. For what????!”

Rights violations have worsened since Muhammadu Buhari, a brutal military ruler from the 1980s, returned to power in 2015 as a civilian president. Journalists, activists and everyday commentators have been targeted, detained or killed by repressive state agents.

The government, however, denied allegations of repression, saying instead that Nigerians have had the best freedom they needed to participate in civic activities.

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