- Why Igboho won’t come to Nigeria soon – Spokesperson
BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Following the release of Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, from custody in Benin Republic, agitators for Yoruba nation have regained their voice and debunked insinuations that the struggle for the self-determination agenda of the Yoruba people has died a natural death.
The agitation gained prominence in the South West geopolitical zone mid-2021. Championed by Igboho, the agitation became intense in the last months of the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, who was accused of nepotism and giving undue advantage to his Fulani tribesmen to the detriment of other nationalities.
The agitators even vowed that the 2023 general elections would not hold and that the agitation was not about a Yoruba president but to restructure the country.
Under the administration of Buhari, the Federal Government was determined to crush the agitation as the operatives of the Department of State Services on July 1, 2021 invaded Ibadan, the residence of Igboho, where some occupants of the house lost their lives while Igboho himself narrowly escaped.
Igboho later fled the country but was arrested in the neighbouring Benin Republic on his way to Germany. But with the emergence of President Bola Tinubu, a Yoruba man, the agitators for a separate country for Yoruba people appeared to have lost their voice.
Some argued that since their kinsman is now in control of affairs at the national level, the agitators have no other choice than to abandon the struggle.
The Yoruba leaders and elders, including the Secretary of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Chief Oladipo Oyewole; former Secretary General, Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide; Chieftain of the pan Yoruba nation organisation, Afenifere, Chief Akin Fasae; and leaders of the Oodua People’s Congress had explained why the agitation might have died a natural death, adding that the emergence of President Tinubu contributed to the believed abandonment of the struggle.
However, spokesperson for Igboho, Olayomi Koiki, said the agitation for a separate country for the Yoruba people was on course and that Tinubu’s presidency would not stop it.
Koiki, however, revealed that Igboho would not be in Nigeria to continue championing the struggle in the meantime.
According to Koiki, in an interview, shortly after Igboho regained his freedom recently, Igboho would remain in Germany with his family members to prosecute the self-determination agenda.
He lamented that what Igboho fought before his arrest was still happening in Nigeria, denying reports that his principal stockpiled arms and dangerous weapons in his Ibadan house to attack the Federal Government.
Koiki disclosed that what led to Igboho’s freedom was partly spiritual as his late mother assured that Igboho would be released before the agitator’s birthday this year.
“Igboho’s mother died around July 19. The mother spoke with Igboho and he told his mother that he did not want to celebrate his next birthday in custody. The mother said she was going to deliver the message to the creator and that is why Igboho was released a few days before his birthday,” he explained.
He stated, “Benin Republic could not find anything to charge Igboho with. After the Federal Government failed, Igboho was released to the Benin Republic. Under the United Nations Human Rights, the Benin Republic did exactly what we expected Nigeria to have done if they wanted to call Igboho to question rather than coming at about 1:00am to invade his house.
We give thanks to one of our sisters who released the video that fateful night, if not; they would have been saying unknown gunmen invaded the house.
“However, what we can confirm is that Igboho has regained his freedom. Since there is nothing for him to do in Benin, he has to go to Germany to look after his family. We do appreciate Nigerians.”
Denying allegations of planned insurrection against the Federal Government, Koiki said, “There was no time we stockpiled guns at Igboho’s house to attack the Federal Government.
He was fighting for crime against humanity. Unfortunately, the same thing Igboho was fighting for is still happening.
“There was no time we said Hausas could not live with us in the West. We were only concerned about Fulani people that were killing our people and others in Nigeria. We hope that Tinubu will be able to deal with insecurity in the country and we want the Nigerian government to release the corpses of two people killed in Igboho’s house.”
He denied the alleged rift between Igboho and Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, saying it was not true that Igboho was trying to outshine the OPC leader.
On Igboho’s next move, Koiki said, “If you are fighting this kind of struggle, you will be in exile.”
In his remarks, former spokesperson for the apex body of Yoruba Self-Determination Struggle, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, Maxwell Adeleye, said Igboho’s release had enlivened the agitation for the Yoruba Nation.
Adeleye who was the communication manager of Prof Banji Akintoye, leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, stated, “The agitation has not died, it is on course. Why it appears the struggle is dead is because of individual ambition. Some came into the struggle for recognition while others came to play politics and that caused a lot of disagreement and argument by agitators.
“Also, Tinubu’s presidency weakened the struggle because Tinubu is a Yoruba man and he contested and won. Many people felt that it wouldn’t make sense if the Yoruba would be the ones to antagonize him by continuing with the demand for independence. So, infighting within the struggle and Tinubu’s emergence made it look like the agitation for Yoruba Nation died down. But, I am stating it categorically that it is an ideal struggle which time has come.”
“The Yorubas are enslaved and our mothers are being raped in their farms; people are kidnapped and we can’t travel on our roads. We want a country where people will be secure. We never planned an insurrection against the Federal Government,” he said.