By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has been in the news for almost two weeks. His fame has soared from being a local champion to national champion. Reason? He did the unusual by daring the Fulani hegemony in the nation’s space and politics. He singlehandedly issued ultimatum to Fulani herdsmen in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State to quit the area.
Many, including Governor Seyi Makinde waved off his threat as one incapable of doing anything. Makinde said no one could issue such threat as Nigerians could live anywhere in the country. But Igboho’s threat became real after the expiration of the seven days ultimatum. He went to Ibarapa where already disenchanted populace pitched tent with him. He addressed thousands of supporters in a trending video. He became a hero overnight, some were even calling him ‘kabiyesi’.
He accused the Fulani leader of harbouring criminal herders who were kidnapping and killing residents of the community.
The powers that be at the Centre, on seeing the video were jolted and knew that the threat was real. The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu in a haste ordered his arrest. The voices against his arrest overwhelmed the few oligarchy championing the move. Even Makinde wanted him arrrested, but at this moment, Igboho appears bigger than the Governor. He did not run away like Nnamdi Kanu, but remained in Ibadan.
When he was supposed to have been arrested, he was seen with the Oyo Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, brainstorming on how to resolve the issues. Even the Fulani community in Ibarapa apologized for their misdemeanour in the area.
Igboho made it clear that he was fighting injustice and series of killings of Yoruba people by Fulani herdsmen in Ibarapa, but the Fulanis from the Centre started fighting him.
He was not arrested as the IGP ordered because there was fear of further heightening tension in Oyo and in the Southwest because many saw him as their ‘messiah’.
Few days later, Igboho’s house in Soka area of Ibadan was razed by arsonists around 3.00pm with properties worth N50 million destroyed.
The fire incident occurred days after Igboho led his followers and aggrieved residents to Igangan in Ibarapa area of Oyo State to eject the Fulani leader of Igangan, Salihu Abdukadir.
The arsonists were said to have come to the house in several vehicles, setting it ablaze.
Gbenga Fadeyi, the spokesperson for the Police Command said reports received on the incident indicated that the house was burnt by hoodlums who invaded Soka area in a bus and a taxi, shooting sporadically to scare people away.
Fadeyi, who said this in a statement onhowever said police had begun an investigation into the incident.
In the statement, the police spokesperson said, “At about 0620 hrs of today 26/01/2021, a report was received at the Santo Police Station that some unidentified hoodlums came to Sunday Igboho’s house at Soka area of Ibadan in a Hummer bus and Micra ( taxi) firing sporadically, and set the house ablaze.
“The mini sitting room got burnt in the process while the value of other properties is yet to be estimated.
“Immediately the DPO Sanyo got a wind of the incident, he contacted fire service while he also went to the scene for on the spot assessment.
“The fire was eventually put out. An investigation has commenced into the incident while the Police are on the trail of the hoodlums.”
Who were the arsonists that invaded Igboho’s house? Why were they not bold enough to carry out the attack in broad day light? Who is after Igboho’s life?
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode had warned the presidency not to think of arresting or killing Igboho as that would amount to a war. In reacting to the attack on his house, Fani-Kayode said “burning Igboho’s house at 3.00a.m. in the morning only proves that you are nothing but cowards & that you are running scared.
”I pray you do not get what you are looking for. War, conflict, bloodshed & carnage are best avoided. Let your madness stop here before it is too late.”
It is clear that those after Igboho are not far from the Centre and those who are receiving the quit notice threat. The burning of the property of Igboho is simply to cow him to submission so that the killer-herders can continue their evil acts of maiming, raping and killing innocent farmers in Igangan and other areas. Many are of the view that Igboho must now be very careful as he has lots of enemies lying in wait to use the sledge hammer and snuff life out of him.