When Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho first hit the limelight in January 2021, many hailed his cause of action after he ordered herdsmen in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State to vacate within seven days.
His fame shot up and he was then addressed as ‘Yoruba activist’ by the media.
He was puffed up by such overwhelming support and the media adulation.
This was because he became the champion of a crisis the government of the day had failed to address: the raging issue of rampaging herdsmen menace not just in the area, but all over Nigeria.
At the expiration of the ultimatum, he went to Ibarapa again and addressed thousands of supporters.
Tension brew in the area. Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State had to wade into the matter.
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu ordered his arrest, but that was yet to be carried out. The last time he was about to be arrested on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, his supporters prevailed by inciting an uproar.
Igboho had gone to Ogun State and some other places where herdsmen’s menace reigns to warn the killers to stay away from Yoruba land.
He even insulted some exalted Yoruba monarchs, such as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II who met with Buhari.
Igboho had in a virtual meeting tagged: Townhall with Yoruba in Diaspora, said the Ooni disappointed the Yoruba people for not telling President Muhammadu Buhari the truth when he met with him.
According to him, “When Ooni met with Buhari over the herdsmen issue, Ooni should have told Buhari the truth but he did not. When Ooni returned, he started tackling me to leave the remaining task to the government to finish. You can imagine that kind of talk?
“Alaafin of Oyo has asked me to meet him over the matter. Alaafin should have been the one invited to meet Buhari but since the Ooni was invited, he should be bold to tell the president the whole truth and make the demands of the Yoruba people known to the president.
“The Ooni disappointed himself. Some politicians are behind Ooni’s latest move. He invited me to his palace but I refused to go. I would have gone if he had represented us well but he did not. I won’t honour any monarch who does not cooperate with me. Enough is enough, the Fulani have done enough.”
When he later came to his senses, he apologised profusely to the monarch.
He said: “I was pained by the issue, my tongue was caught up in the moment. I spoke according to how pained I was.” The Ooni later said he forgave him.
Recently, Igboho threatened to kill Yoruba politicians who dared campaign for 2023 in a video.
He said: “If not that you (Yoruba political officer holders) are all unfortunate representatives, you should be leading us in the secessionist struggle. But you are busy campaigning for the next Presidential election. You must be mad. You should know that you are not supposed to seek election to the office of the President, you are supposed to identify with our (Yoruba) agitation and lead us in the secession activities.
“I will not allow you to campaign because I will kill you all (Yoruba politicians) before campaigns start (in 2023), I swear by God. I will not allow you to campaign because we will kill you all (Yoruba politicians) before their campaigns for elections. I swear by God. It is either they go elsewhere or we will shoot them with guns from the back.
“I urge you the Yoruba elders, traditional rulers to lead us to secession war for the independent Oduduwa Republic. We should not be afraid… We will have more money because we have crude oil and sea. We will enjoy our new country most.
“If you support our secession plans, we will suffer for less than two weeks only and later enjoy the Eldorado. Why are you (politicians) selfish, asking us to campaign for you to become Nigerian President in 2023? Are you mad? Let your campaign be limited to your family members. If you campaign in the public, I will fight you.”
In recent times, Ighoho has been careless with his utterances. He has upgraded himself from ordering Fulani herdsmen to vacate the land, to declaring a Yoruba nation. He is now saying that his mission is to liberate the Yoruba people and breakaway from Nigeria, just like what Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader had been pursuing all these years and had to escape from the country to prevent being incarcerated.
On Wednesday, during a conference in Ibadan, in a video, Igboho declared the ‘Yoruba Nation’, claiming that South-Western states are no longer a part of Nigeria. According to him, it was high time for Yoruba to declare the race a sovereign nation.
Igboho urged all Yoruba indigenes who are resident in Hausa/Fulani or Igbo states, to return home before war breaks out.
“Why are we being slaves in our fatherland? The people that call themselves Senators and leaders will be going in traffic and see 4 & 5-year-old selling popcorn and puff-puff and they will buy and eat, have you seen that they are not worthy to be called leaders, therefore we reject them as leaders.
“The Yorubas that are everywhere are larger than most countries, therefore we call on the global community and United Nations to come and separate us, we are no longer interested in being part of Nigeria before this becomes war, they need to intervene because we want to go.
“As it stands now, we are no longer under Nigeria. If they don’t intervene, it will go beyond control. We have gone beyond the point where we keep quiet, we are no longer scared to voice out.
“We are not safe anywhere, we can’t sleep in peace, we can’t travel in peace, what have we done? Are we slaves? We don’t do wrong by existing, we only chose the wrong leaders and we are saying enough is enough!
“Tincan in Lagos, Apapa, the directors are Fulani men. The two ports we have, the controllers are Fulani. We don’t want them anymore! Seme border, we don’t want Fulani there anymore! When Baba finish talking now, we the Yorubas here will have a crucial meeting, we are going to open the borders, let’s start allowing goods to enter,” he said.
Igboho’s utterances are inciting enough, does he know what it means to prosecute a war? Does he think this is Ife-Modakeke crisis where he played a prominent role?
Igboho’s words are certainly treasonable.
He is lucky because the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has no spark and seemingly dead. If it were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Igboho should be in jail by now.
His utterances are inciting and capable of causing a war. When OPC leader, now Aare Gani Adams, MASSOB leader, Ralph Nwazuruike, late Dr. Frederick Faseun, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo were fomenting trouble then, Obasanjo dealt with them, but we have a weak system and a weak president.
The Yoruba race are well educated, in fact, they are the most educated in the country and it is not expected that one of the least educated member of the race will be their spokesman.
According to Reuben Abati, when the state fails the people, people like Igboho emerge to provide leadership. If the government has not failed, the likes of Igboho will not be rearing up their heads, claiming to be the Yoruba’s messiah.
He must heed the warning of Ooni of Ife, who told him to watch his back and not take laws into his hand. Ooni also advised him to allow constituted authorities handle the herdsmen menace.
The monarch said: “Let us be very objective. He (Igboho) is being a mouthpiece for the downtrodden. He came up and everybody is listening now but my advice to him as a traditional ruler is that he needs to be very careful so that the politicians won’t hijack the whole motive from him.
“He has done well and we’ve already praised him but he shouldn’t take laws into his hands. We have the governor there, he is the chief security officer of the state and Mr President has invited him (Makinde). Let the right people that are being authorised to do what is right do it.
“He (Igboho) has done well and the world has heard him but everything should be done in moderation.”
He added: “We know that the bandits are everywhere. He shouldn’t take laws into his hands. We have laws in this country, and we should follow it. Let the right people chosen either our leader, let them follow what they are supposed to do. He has done well, and we should leave it like that.”
Igboho must stop beating the drums of war. He cannot have his children abroad in Germany, some say, and be beating the drums of war in the land.
But one thing is sure, Igboho is treading a dangerous path that may eventually lead to his destruction.