•Goes underground •His uncle among those killed
EMBATTLED Yoruba nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, on Friday countered claims by the State Security Service (SSS) that a cache of arms and ammunition were recovered from his residence during a midnight raid on Thursday. He declared that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government decided to frame him up because of his perception as a threat to “the Fulanisation agenda in Nigeria.”
Adeyemo, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Olayomi Koiki, said: “The invasion on my house was done without a search warrant. I was not invited for questioning or investigation at any government facility before the invasion.”
“The operatives that stormed my residence destroyed my property, killed persons and stole money and other valuables. Pictures and videos of their atrocities have been widely circulated in the media.
“Nigerians and the international community should be aware that the security operatives that invaded my home either planted the ammunition being paraded in the media in my home or harvested them from their armoury to frame me. The arms paraded are not mine, they are government magic. I protect myself with traditional powers, not with guns.
“Nigerians and the world at large are aware of my resistance to the incessant killings, raping and kidnapping of my people in southwest Nigeria by armed Fulani herdsmen. The failure of President Muhammadu Buhari and his government to curb the criminal activities of the murderous herdsmen necessitated my intervention.
“I ordinarily would not have intervened if the government had lived up to its responsibility of securing the South West and Nigeria at large from the criminal activities of the president’s ethnic men.
“Of public knowledge, my intervention has not let to any loss of life or bloodshed. My means of curbing criminality is to chase the criminal Fulani herdsmen out of their hideouts in company with the people of the affected communities.
“It is because of the foreseen government persecution that videos of such interventions were transmitted live on social media. Nigerians, the security operatives and the presidency are aware that I have never moved against the peaceful Fulanis and other tribes living peacefully in the South West. My unjust persecution – for defending my people and community – is therefore surprising and unwarranted.
“After several unsuccessful attempts to link me to any crime, the Buhari regime desperately opted to forcefully silence me so that the criminal herdsmen who enjoy government’s sympathy, protection and immunity can easily overrun the South West.
“The presidency’s serial antics and desperation to acquire people’s ancestral lands across Nigeria for foreign Fulani herdsmen because they share ethnicity and occupation with the president are well known to Nigerians and the international community. I am being seen as a threat to the Fulanisation agenda in the South West, hence the desperation to soil my name.
“The Federal Government framed me up and the sequence of events brings the truth bare. Why would the security agents invade my home at night and destroy my surveillance cameras before carrying out their operation if not that they had an ulterior motive? In this modern age of technological advancement, why did the security operatives not put on body cameras to record their activities from the point of entry to their time of exit?
“The unwarranted military invasion of Lekki, gruesome killing of peaceful EndSARS protesters and evacuation of their bodies on 20 October 2020 is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians. A similar approach was adopted during the invasion of my home. The security operatives killed scores and took away their bodies. Buhari’s regime would have declared that ‘unknown gunmen’ invaded my home if they had succeeded in killing me.
“Nigerians and the international community should beware that desperate efforts are being made to force those arrested to make implicating confessional statements. I advise the DSS to desist from their unprofessional acts and devote such energy to eradicating insecurity.
“Yoruba people would not be demanding for a nation if the government had lived up to its responsibilities. Self-determination is not a crime and all efforts to silence us and acquire our ancestral land for local and foreign criminal herdsmen will fail. Many Ken Saro-Wiwa arose after the Nigerian government unjustly executed the nonviolent activist.”
“Those that emerged after him confronted the government and almost brought Nigeria to its knees. I am another Saro-Wiwa. Therefore, I advise President Buhari to learn from the mistake of past governments. I am not Nigeria’s problem and should not be framed up or intimidated for contributing my quota to ensuring that peace reigns in my region and country.”
Meanwhile, sources said Igboho has gone underground following the Thursday raid on his house. This is even as the identities of the two persons that were killed during the raid have been revealed. Igboho, who has since been declared wanted by the SSS, was out of reach on Friday.
Calls put through to his mobile phone indicated that the line was switched off. He was said to have also ordered his aides to shut the gates to his house and prevent anybody from gaining entry until further notice.
Saturday Tribune gathered that one Saheed, popularly known as ‘Adogan’, and a Muslim cleric identified as ‘Alfa’, said to be an uncle to Igboho, were two persons shot dead by the security agents during the invasion. ‘Adogan’ hailed from Osogbo, Osun State, while Alfa was reportedly on a visit to Igboho, having arrived in Ibadan only a few days ago from his base in Sagamu, Ogun State.
Alfa, who was said to be praying when the security agents arrived, was shot dead inside the living room, his body subsequently dragged on the floor into a waiting vehicle, with his blood splattering all over the floor. The remains of Adogan and Alfa were taken away from the scene by the security agents.
One of Igboho’s aides who pleaded for anonymity told one of our correspondents that: “Presently, Oga’s (Igboho’s) whereabouts are unknown. Even those believed to be closest to him are not privileged to know his location for security reasons.
“But before he left, he instructed that the gates to his house are locked and nobody should be allowed to gain access into the compound.”
Another aide of Igboho simply identified as Kazeem, said: “We will continue to stand with Igboho in spite of the Thursday incident. We will not be discouraged. But it must be noted that what the SSS and soldiers did during the raid was bad.
“No letter of invitation was sent to oga. They just laid siege to his residence at midnight and opened fire on anybody they sighted. This is barbaric and inhuman and it should be condemned by all Nigerians. We cannot be intimidated by their terrorist approach.”