Sunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba rights activist, has declared he will not be intimidated by the recent fresh attempt by the Department of State Services, (DSS) to arrest him. He said any attempt to arrest him on Yoruba land will fail woefully. Nnamdi Kanu, still in DSS custody, is as defiant as ever. He insists he has committed no offence known to law. But, Boko Haram and ISWAP reign supreme. Two faces of a government’s contradictions!
Igboho, a self-determination warlord agitating for the South-West region, had been in the news for serving quit notice on killer Fulani herdsmen terrorising some parts of the South-West, killing, maiming, raping and spreading terror like fertilizer on plants. Igboho said he was never invited before the attempt to arrest him. He does not understand why he was being targeted. He advised the Federal Government to focus on capturing Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, and inviting Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who has recently been meeting with bandits. Gumi negotiates ransom with terrorists! By the way, as we speak, over 120 kids of Bethel Baptist School are held in captivity by AK-47-wielding bandits in Kaduna.
For those who do not know, Kaduna is the home to some of the most critical military institutions and installations in Nigeria. How they operate freely and seamlessly under the close watch of this National Security apparatchik should worry Nigerians. Wait for the egregious news: the bandits have now demanded from parents of the kidnapped school children, provision of food for the feeding of their children! According to one Madugu, they demanded for 20 bags of local rice; 10 bags of imported rice; 20 bags of beans; 10 cartons of maggi cubes; 10 kegs of vegetable oil; and two bags of salt! Can you imagine that?
Earlier, in April, 2021, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, had confirmed that terrorists had displaced 3,000 residents, seized wives; and hoisted flags of sovereignty in Kaure and Shiroro local government areas, LGAs just 140 kilometres to Abuja, the Nigerian seat of power. Only few days ago, bandits killed 52 in Kaduna and Zamfara States. Before then, Boko Haram/ISWAP had announced to a bewildered nation (not shocked, because we have since become unshockable) that they have appointed a Governor for parts of Borno State, by name Abba-Kaka. While accepting the undoubted leadership of Abu Musa Al Barnawi, (son of Mohammed Yusuf, Boko Haram founder) the group named Abba-Kaka as Governor of Tumbumma, with jurisdiction over Marte, Abadam, Kukawa, Magumeri and other areas of the Lake Chad region. It is said that the APC Governor, Babagana Zulum, now controls 22 LGA’s, while the ISWAP controls five LGAs. Good gracious!
Setting up a full-blown government with normal structures of a government within a sovereign Nigeria, the group was said to have appointed a separate leader, Baba Isa, to oversee taxation and revenue on fishing and farming activities. He was posted to Kangar in Abadam to relieve Abu Abdallah. Farmers and traders are to pay N5,000 monthly; while fishermen will now pay N2,000 per bag of fish, amongst others. Wait for it: the Interim Council introduced Mobile Courts and some policies to harmonise all insurgent groups and activities under the leadership of ISIS. Indeed, the group set up a Judiciary and appointed Ibn Umar as Chief Prosecutor. Abu Umama becomes the Amir of Tudun Wulgo, while Muhammed Maina is Commander of Sabon Tumbu.
“Yet, in the midst of this apparent descent into a failed state where non-state actors have subdued a legitimate and elected government, the same Government, through its spokesperson, Senior Special Assistant, SSA to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, is “celebrating” and “congratulating” itself for its alleged “recent successes of security and intelligence agencies”?
Do you know what these successes are? One, being handed over on a platter of gold, IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who had actually been literally kidnapped by Kenyan authorities. Two, the invasion, in a most crude and Gestapo-like fashion the quiet and peaceful house of Sunday Igboho, the Yoruba self-determination leader whom the government termed a “militant ethnic secessionist”.
Then, the same spokesman boasted that any AK-47-wielding persons should be dealt with, since “assault weapons are not tools of peace-loving people and as such, regardless of who they are and where they are from, the security agencies should treat them all the same”.
Mr. Shehu, Nigerians have heard you loud and clear. Let charity begin at home. Let your government, with the same dexterity and alacrity, now go after the Boko Haram/ISWAP, who are not only carrying AK-47 riffles, but have actually challenged your government’s legitimacy and sovereignty, by setting up an alternate government in some parts of Nigeria. This government must stop pursuing butterflies while Nigeria’s entire edifice is on fire. It is incredible to behold this government beating its chest over the DSS’s crude invasion of the house of a citizen (as they did Supreme Court Judges on October 8, 2016). They did this without any prior notice, invitation, or bench warrant; killed some people in the process; and wasted some pussy cats. They even believed the biggest one amongst the cats must be Igboho, who had supernaturally “transformed” into the cat. For that reason, the cat, rather than being killed like others, was captured alive, arrested, and detained. What a funny government! Nigerians are still waiting to know the outcome of the cat’s “interrogation” after DSS’s “investigations”! How did we have this free fall into a despicable state of nadir?
The last time I checked, none of the rallies so far organized by Sunday Igboho in his campaign for the Yoruba nation has ever turned violent. Nor has he been implicated in illegal activities.
Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive; impart information without interference”. Section 40 provides “every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons”. This government swore to defend the Constitution.
Nnamdi Kanu on the other hand, had escaped abroad from Nigeria when his house in Afaraukwu, Umuahia, Abia State, was savagely invaded by men of the Nigerian Army on September 14, 2017, killing many defenceless and unarmed citizens suspected to be IPOB sympathisers. He was then on court’s bail over allegations of treasonable felony. The Army’s tendentious defence was that it was on a military exercise in the South East, tagged “Operation Python Dance 2”. This python appears only to selectively “dance” in the South East, South West and Middle Belt. Criminal elements and even the third and fourth declared most dangerous terrorist groups in the world, ISWAP and Boko Haram respectively, are exempted from this dance. What a country!