…As Buhari Administration Bares its Fang Hundreds of agitators angling for the creation of O’dua Republic, defied the massive Police deployment to stage a rally at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, Lagos on Saturday. The protesters claimed they had crossed the rubicon in their move to form a new republic from Nigeria, Africa’s most
…As Buhari Administration Bares its Fang
Hundreds of agitators angling for the creation of O’dua Republic, defied the massive Police deployment to stage a rally at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, Lagos on Saturday. The protesters claimed they had crossed the rubicon in their move to form a new republic from Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, which has witnessed the stoking of agitations by self determination groups.
Many of them fumed at the incessant killing and kidnapping of their Yoruba kith and kin and raping of their women without justification, by armed Fulani herdsmen, who are rampaging their communities in the South West and other southern parts of the country without any checks by the security forces. This they say has led to food shortages and impoverishment of their people as many farmers are being driven away from their farms.
“We are tired of these criminal activities by Fulani herdsmen and no longer feel safe in Nigeria. We are worried because the government treats them with kid gloves,” says one of the protesters called Muftau.
The protesters however later got a bloodied nose as they were forcibly dispersed by Police wielding guns, teargas canisters and water cannons, reinforcing the stern posture of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that it is not ready to brook at growing demands for self determination to create the O’dua Republic and Biafra from the South West and South Eastern parts of Nigeria.
Although the protesters scampered in different directions as the Police sprayed water and fired teargas, they later regrouped under the nearby bridge to continue with their rally. Many of those who attempted later to join the rally were prevented by Police who blocked the different roads leading to the venue.
Just smarting from last weekend’s euphoric arrest of leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, the Buhari administration seems to be sending warning signals that it is now resolved to treat the advocates of self determination “in the language they understand”.
On July 1, a horde of soldiers and officials of the Department of State Security (DSS) laid siege to the Ibadan home of a prominent leader of the agitation for O’dua Republic, Mr Sunday Adeyemo (alias Igboho), killing five persons and arresting 13 others including his wife, to send a strong message to organizers of the Lagos rally to backdown. They also declared Ugboho wanted. But the organizers were not deterred.
In a statement by his Spokesperson, Mr Olayomi Koiki, titled, “MY PERSECUTION BY BUHARI REGIME: SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT,” Ugboho says he’s being persecuted by the Buhari administration, which is resolved to frame and nail him because of his stance to free the Yoruba from the ceaseless attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen. He also accused the DSS of planting guns and other exhibits in his home.
“Nigerian security operatives invaded my residence in the early hours of Wednesday, 1 July, 2021. The invasion was done without a search warrant. I was not invited for questioning/investigation at any government facility before the invasion.
“The operatives that stormed my residence destroyed my properties, killed persons and stole valuables and money. Pictures and videos of their atrocities have been widely reported in the media.
“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 government had lived up to its responsibility of securing the Southwest and Nigeria at large from the criminal activities of the President’s ethnic men.
“Of public knowledge, my intervention has not led 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 of 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 Southwest. 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 opt to forcefully silence me, so that the criminal herdsmen, who enjoys government’s sympathy, protection and immunity, can easily outrun the Southwest.
“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 is well known to Nigerians and the international community. I am being seen as a threat to the Fulanization agenda in the Southwest, hence the desperation to soil my name.
“Nigerians and the international community should please be aware that the security operatives that invaded my home either planted the ammunitions being paraded in the media in my home or harvest 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.
“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? Their action is a testament that the Buhari regime is incurable of using desperate approach to silence peaceful social interventions.
“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 mind 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 confession statement. I advise the DSS to desist from their unprofessional acts and devote such energy to eradicating insecurity.
“Nigerians and the international community should please note that I am a law-abiding citizen without blemish. I advise President Buhari to, in the interest of Nigerians that voted him to power, order his henchmen to desist from using falsehood and unholy tactics to soil my name. Such energy should be devoted to taming the herdsmen and bandits freely committing heinous crimes across Nigeria with impunity because their kinsman is in power.
“Yoruba people would not be demanding for a nation if government had lived up to its responsibilities. Self-determination is not a crime and all effort to silence us and acquire our ancestral land for local and foreign criminal herdsmen will fail.
“Many Ken Saro-Wiwa arose after Nigerian government unjustly executed the non-violent activist. Those that emerged after him confronted 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 ensure peace reigns in my region and country,” Ugboho says.
Earlier, in a press briefing in Abuja by its Spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunnaya, the DSS claimed its officials raided Igboho’s home based on intelligence report that he was stockpiling arms.
“In the early hours (about 0134 hours) of today, 1st July, 2021, a joint team of security operatives raided the residence of Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo a.k.a. SUNDAY IGBOHO at Soka, Ibadan, Oyo State. This was based on intelligence that he had stockpiled arms in the place. On approach to the residence, the team came under heavy gun attack by nine (9) men, suspected to be IGBOHO’s guards. Six (6) of them were armed with AK-47 gun and Three (3) others, with Pump-Action riffles.
“In the course of the exchange, two (2) of IGBOHO’s armed men were gunned down while the rest were subdued and arrested. Only one operative who was shot by the assailants on his right hand sustained injury. He has however received medical attention and is very stable.
“Afterwards, the team procedurally searched the house and subsequently recovered the following among others:
i. Seven (7) AK-47 assault rifles;
ii. Three (3) Pump Action guns;
iii. Thirty (30) fully charged AK-47 magazines;
iv. Five Thousand (5,000) rounds of 7.62mm ammunition;
v. Five (5) Cutlasses, One (1) Jack knife, One (1) Pen Knife
vi. Two (2) Pistol holsters;
vii. One (1) binoculars
viii. A wallet containing Five (5) US Dollars in one (1) Dollar denomination; local and international driver’s licences in his name, ATM Cards, a German residence permit No. YO2N6K1NY bearing his name;
ix. Two (2) whistles;
x. Fifty (5) Cartridges;
xi. Eighteen (18) Walkie-Talkies;
xii. Three Voodoo charm jackets/traditional body armour;
xiii. Two (2) Laptops (One (1) Toshiba and One (1) Compaq); and
xiv. His International Passport and those of many others (as displayed here). Further exploitation and forensic analysis are ongoing.
“Aside the items recovered from the building, about thirteen (13) suspects including twelve (12) males and one (1) female were arrested and brought to Abuja. While one suspect is being profiled, the other twelve (12) paraded here are:
i. Abdulateef OFEYAGBE
ii. Amoda BABATUNDE aka Lady K (female)
iii. Tajudeen ERINOYEN
iv. Diakola ADEMOLA
v. Abideen SHITTU
vi. Jamiu NOAH
vii. Ayobami DONALD
viii. Adelabe USMAN
ix. Oluwafelumi KUNLE
x. Raji KAZEEM
xi. Taiwo OPEYEMI and
xii. Bamidele SUNDAY.
“Highlights of this brief are to:
i. Inform Nigerians and the world that Sunday IGBOHO and his group, in the guise of campaign for self-determination, have become well-armed and determined to undermine public order. This, the arrests and seizures are, no doubt, a confirmation of a grand plan by IGBOHO and his cohorts to wage a violent insurrection against the Nigerian State.
ii. Alert foreign missions and licencing authorities within and outside Nigeria about this development and the possibility that IGBOHO could declare some of his personal permit and identity cards missing in order to seek their replacement.
iii. Apprise stakeholders that the Five (5) AK-47 assault rifles recovered from the building are suspected to be those collected by IGBOHO’s men from Nigerian Customs and Immigration personnel at Idi Iroko, Ogun State.
“The gun duel which lasted for an hour offered IGBOHO the chance to escape. Sunday ADEYEMO a.k.a Sunday IGBOHO is now on the run. IGBOHO may run as far as he can. He may hide as long as he wants. He might have attacked security operatives as his strength carried him. But this will be the end of his shenanigans. Soon, he will not have a hiding place. His strength will sure fail him. And the law will catch up with him. The law may be slow. But it will be steady.
“Consequently, ADEYEMO/IGBOHO is advised to turn himself in to the nearest security agency. Those cheering and eulogising him may appeal to or advise him to do the needful. He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law. Meanwhile, those arrested will be charged accordingly,” the DSS narrates.
Kanu, who has mobilized the Igbo for Biafra in a mounting scarthing campaign, has particularly drawn the ire of the Buhari administration. The recent highly successful sit at home campaign by the IPOB was undoubtedly unsettling. Little wonder officials of the administration were in jubilant move after he was napped in Kenya and brought back to continue his trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja, haven jumped bail since 2017.