…says ‘recovered arms, charms not mine, I’m another Ken Saro-Wiwa’
Embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, on Friday, tackled the Federal Government over Thursday’s raid on his residence by the Department of State Services and troops of the Nigerian Army.
A combined security team of the DSS and the Army had raided Igboho’s home in Oyo State in the early hours of Thursday.
The DSS, at a media briefing later that day, presented the arms, ammunition and charms alleged to have been recovered from Igboho’s residence during the raid.
It also paraded 13 persons arrested at Igboho’s house.
But in a statement on Friday by Olayomi Koiki, his media aide, Igboho denied ownership of the arms and other items said to have been recovered by the DSS.
Igboho also stated that he had not committed any crime, adding that his focus had been on ensuring peace in the South-West region by combating the menace and security threat posed by “criminal herders”.
The activist said, “The invasion was done without a search warrant. I was not invited for questioning/investigation at any government facility before the invasion.
“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 with 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 Fulani and other tribes living peacefully in the Southwest. My unjust persecution — for defending my people and community — is therefore surprising and unwarranted.
“Nigerians and the international community should please be aware that the security operatives that invaded my home either planted the ammunition 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.”
Condemning the raid on his home, Igboho urged the Federal Government and the DSS to channel their energy on addressing insecurity, rather than “intimidating” him.
He added, “Nigerians and the international community should beware that desperate efforts are being made to force those arrested to make implicating confession statements. 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 efforts 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 mistakes 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.”