. It’s demeaning for govs to respond to herders’ group – Akeredolu’s aide
Umbrella body of herdsmen in Nigeria, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, on Monday accused governors of the South-West states of “hiding” wanted Yoruba activist Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.
Spokesman for the group, Saleh Alhassan, made this allegation while speaking in an exclusive interview with Punch.
But the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, in a swift reaction, said it is demeaning for the governors to respond to Miyetti Allah’s accusation.
Operatives of the Department of State Services had on July 1, 2021, raided Igboho’s Ibadan residence in Oyo State, arresting 13 of his followers, and killing two of the activist’s associates in a “gun duel”.
Igboho, who is a promoter of the agitation for a Yoruba nation, escaped the bloody raid and was subsequently declared wanted by the secret police on allegations of stockpiling arms to destabilise the country, which he has since denied.
The Yoruba nation agitator, who gained popularity in January, following his eviction notice to suspected killer herders in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State, has since gone underground.
Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore spokesman, who spoke with Punch on Monday, said the DSS should have raided Igboho’s house earlier than it did.
But Alhassan advised the activist to surrender himself to security operatives because he would be forcefully apprehended.
He said, “It is in his (Igboho’s) own best interest if he submits himself peacefully so that he can face justice. Why is he running? Is he not a revolutionary? He should submit himself before they get him because as it is now, he has been declared wanted, he should present himself to the nearest police station.”
The Miyetti Allah spokesman also accused the six governors in the South-West region of hiding Igboho.
He said, “All his (Igboho’s) actions are political; he is being used. His godfathers in the South-West should bring him out.
“The security agencies are speaking the language he understands, they will get him. I know the governors are hiding him but they (security agents) will get him.
“The (Nigerian) State has declared him wanted. He is not more than the state. The governors keeping him should produce him.”
“He declared a republic; that was a rebellion. How can you be threatening the sovereignty of the (Nigerian) State and you still have the guts to be walking around and be organising rallies?”
But the Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, said it is belittling for the governors to respond to the allegation by Miyetti Allah.
When Punch contacted Ojogo for a reaction on the allegation by the herders’ group, he said, “It is not necessary, absolutely demeaning for elected governors to engage an association in a media banter.”
Meanwhile, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, another herders’ group in the country, kept mum on Igboho’s imbroglio.
“We don’t have any comment on the matter; we don’t talk on political or security issues,” MACBAN Secretary-General, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, told our correspondent when contacted on Monday.
Before the DSS bloody raid, Igboho and his Ibadan residence had been attacked this year. On January 26, 2021, some faceless hoodlums attacked the Soka residence of Igboho also in Ibadan and razed the house.
The incident occurred a few weeks after Igboho issued a seven-day ultimatum to ‘killer herders’ in Igangan, in Ibarapa area of Oyo State.
Igboho had enforced same which led to the eviction of the Fulani leader in the rustic town, Seriki Saliu Abdulkadir, and his men.
Following the expiration of his ultimatum, the activist had stormed the agrarian town and saw to the eviction of Abdulkadir and his men who were accused of sundry crimes, including rape, kidnapping and killing of farmers.
But Abdulkadir, who has been displaced and has now relocated, denied the allegations.
There have been reprisals though, the latest occurred in June. About 17 persons were reportedly shot dead when hoodlums invaded Igangan on motorcycles around midnight, killing and destroying property but Abdulkadir has denied being behind the reprisal.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had also said the then Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, ordered the arrest of Igboho but many Nigerians had condemned such move, insisting that the security agencies should instead summon popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who has been seen hobnobbing with bandits in the forests of Zamfara and Niger States of late.