ATTACK ON SUNDAY IGBOHO’S HOUSE: Afenifere Reacts
By Henry Odeh
The news of fatal attack on the residence of Mr. Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho in the early hours of Thursday, July 1, 2021 is a sad indicator that we are fast returning to the era of late Sani Abacha when anyone who expressed opinions contrary to government’s position would be fatally attacked.
The above was contained in a statement issued on behalf of the Acting Leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, by the National Publicity Secretary of the body, Comrade Jare Ajayi.
Nigerians woke up this morning to the unsavoury news of an attack on the residence of the Yoruba activist, Igboho, in Soka area of Ibadan by armed men reportedly in army and DSS uniforms. DSS is the Directorate of State Security Services, one of the federal government’s security agencies.
Reports have it that the invaders came in 15 vehicles with army identity while some of the men wore DSS uniforms. It was also reported that at least seven people were killed while yet unidentified number, including the wife of Sunday Igboho, were abducted and taken away by the invaders. They also properties running into several millions.
The attack came less than 72 hours to the plan by Igboho and others to hold a rally in Lagos to further canvass for a Yoruba nation this week Saturday.
According to Afenifere, the manner of attack indicated culpability on the part of those in authority.
“We are forced into this deduction for a number of reasons. Firstly, eye witness accounts indicated that vehicles and uniforms of the attackers were that of the security agencies. Secondly, the failure of security agencies to confront the attackers further implicated the government. It was reported that the attack lasted for more than three hours.
“Igboho’s residence is in a highly populated area within minutes’ reach to surrounding police stations. That no rescue team came from any of the police units including the DSS office in Ibadan for the several hours that the attack lasted makes it difficult not to believe that the government is complicit in the attack”.
Afenifere regretted that the incident was a sad reminder of what Nigerians went through under the inglorious regime of late General Sani Abacha.
“We recall with sadness how voices that were opposed to the dictatorial tendencies of Abacha regime were under serious attacks. We recalled how patriots like General Alani Akinrinade, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Pa Alfred Rewane etc were attacked resulting in the untimely and gruesome murder of Pa Rewane.”
The release asserted that government security agencies are now becoming emboldened in violating the rights of the citizens because the previous violations were not checked.
“We recall how armed men of Customs Service in the wee hours of the night invaded Bodija market in Ibadan to bugle the shops of traders in that market. Because the government officials that did it were not checked, they had the audacity to repeat the same action at Agbeni market also in Ibadan about two weeks later. The fact that perpetrators of these acts were not arrested let alone tried in the court of law convinces us that they were state sponsored”.
The pan-Yoruba organization asserted that it was forced to make this deduction because Sunday Igboho is known to be in the forefront of agitations to have a Yoruba nation.
“What is wrong in canvassing for self-determination so long as such agitation is devoid of violence? The constitution the country is running guarantees the right of every Nigerian to express opinion and even carry out rallies as long as such are done without violence. To the best of our knowledge, none of the rallies that Sunday Igboho has led in his campaign for a Yoruba nation could be said to be violent nor was he implicated in illegal activities. Why then should he be subjected to the kind of treatment his household received on Thursday morning?”
Afenifere went further to say that assuming that Igboho actually committed an offence, “when did it become the norm to go and bombard the house of a suspect in the dastardly manner that armed forces attacked Igboho’s house early this morning?”
The body then maintained that a total stop must be put to the unprovoked attack on innocent citizens in the country. “Not only that, we insist that government must immediately apprehend the attackers and make them to face the full wrath of the law.
“Government should also stop any plan to harm Igboho or any other person not known to contravene the law of the land.”