31st December, 2021
Yoruba Nation campaigner, Sunday Igboho, with the real name Sunday Adeyemo, said he is not at war with President Muhammadu Buhari or any government official.
Igboho made this known in his New Year message signed by one of his lawyers in Nigeria, Pelumi Olajengbesi.
The statement, titled ‘Sunday Igboho’s New Year message for 2022’, said the Yoruba activist only wants the Buhari-led government to address the security challenges in the South-West zone which was the genesis of his agitation for the Yoruba Nation.
Igboho added that the fight for freedom was not about him but for those who lost their loved ones to insecurity.
The statement reads, “Let it be abundantly clear that I am not at war with President Buhari, the Governors or anybody in government.
“What I want the government to do is to address the genesis of my agitation for a Yoruba Nation.
“The genesis is the insecurity in Ibarapaland and other places in the entire Yorubaland where farmers were maimed, hacked to death, kidnapped and raped as if there are no security agents in the country. Everybody deserves to be protected and feel safe in their country regardless of their tribe, religion or political leanings.
“At some points our people became helpless and they can no longer go to their farmlands again. Scores of farmers were butchered to death in 2021 and the government pretends that all is okay. No, this must not continue and this was why I rose to stop the menace. I didn’t speak up to fight the government, I spoke to ensure protection for our people.
“My message is that in 2022, the government should rise up and put an end to the havoc caused by herdsmen that are criminals and give everyone a sense of belonging – whether foreign or locals — and stop the attack of our people in Yorubaland.
“I am not selfish about myself, I am more concerned about helpless citizens who buried their loved ones to aimless killings in 2021 and I pray the Almighty God would stop the killings of innocent people in Nigeria.”
Igboho in Cotonou prison.
Sunday Igboho was arrested at the Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport on July 19, 2021 by security forces in Benin.
He was arrested few day after he was declared wanted by the Department of State Services on allegations of stockpiling arms to destabilise the country.
His house at Sooka in Ibadan was also raided by DSS which led to the arrest and detention of 13 of Igboho’s associates.
Two of Igboho’s supporters, later identified as Adogan and Alfa, were also killed during the raid.
However, Sunday Igboho has been in detention in neighboring Benin Republic since his arrest around 8 pm on July 19, 2021, at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou.
He was arraigned on July 27, 2021 at the Cour De’appal De Cotonou.
Since July 27, the court has not had any sitting about his case fuelling speculations that the detention of Igboho is laced with political undertones.
Igboho’s continued incarceration has also doused Yoruba Nation agitations in the last five months as his followers and associates have laid low, suspending secessionist rallies as was done in the South-West before the near-perpetual ordeal of the agitator.
Igboho’s mentor in the struggle, who is also an arrowhead for self-determination, Banji Akintoye, had since left Nigeria for Benin Republic after he got wind that the Buhari regime plotted his arrest.
The 86-year-old professor of History had said he was in Cotonou to facilitate Igboho’s release.