…as Presidency orders IGP to arrest activist
Following the order by the Presidency to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to effect the arrest of Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, for issuing a quit notice to Fulani herdsmen in Oyo State, a special force put together by the police high command has launched a manhunt for the Yoruba activist.
FirstNews gathered from security sources that the special force has been deployed by the police in Oyo and Lagos states to fish out Igbo and members of his group.
The police special force, it was learnt, has begun to comb the two states for the activist and his boys.
Igboho himself is said to have gone underground on the advice of some Yoruba self-determination groups to avoid a showdown with security agents that may occur in the attempt to arrest him.
Efforts to reach him have still proved abortive. His phone lines have remained switched off since Friday night when he ejected Fulani herders from Igangan, Ibarapa.
But the arrest order by the IGP could not be confirmed as of the time of filing this report as the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, could not be reached.
Similarly, Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Olugbenga Fadeyi, was not reachable for comments on the IGP’s arrest order on Igboho.
Violence had erupted in Igangan, Ibarapa, on Friday, when Igboho, alongside his followers, stormed the Fulani settlement in the ancient town to eject Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and herdsmen accused of perpetrating crimes ranging from kidnappings, killings, rape to invasion of farmlands with their cattle.
Presidency said on Saturday that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had ordered Igboho’s arrest for issuing a quit notice to Fulani in Oyo State.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in an interview with BBC Hausa Service.
Shehu told the BBC Hausa Service that he had just finished speaking on the phone with the IGP who informed him that the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Ngozi Onadeko, had been ordered to immediately arrest Igboho and transfer him to Abuja.
According to the BBC report, “Garba said he just got off the telephone with the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police, who confirmed to him that he had ordered the arrest of Igboho, who is to be brought to Abuja.
“Igboho is among topics that have generated public discuss on social media in Nigeria on Friday since he visited Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government (of Oyo State) where he insisted that all Fulani residents in Oyo State, must leave as long as kidnapping continues.
“Mallam Garba Shehu said government was having a hard time punishing (such) offenders because of the activities of human rights organisations.
“Garba Shehu said the order given by the Inspector General of Police, for now, is that Igboho should be arrested and brought to Abuja to be taken to court to face prosecution.”
Igboho, who is the Akoni Oodua of Yoruba land and a grassroots politician, had given herdsmen in Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State a seven-day ultimatum to leave the area, accusing them of being the masterminds of the kidnappings and killings in the state.
Presidency had last week disagreed with Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for asking Fulani herders to vacate forest reserves in the state because they had become a haven for bandits and kidnappers.
Recall that on Friday night violence erupted in Igangan in the Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State when Sunday Igboho and some youths reportedly stormed the Fulani settlement in the town to eject the Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and some other herdsmen accused of fuelling insecurity problems.
Unconfirmed reports had claimed that some persons were killed while properties worth several millions of naira were set ablaze during the clash which occurred in the evening.
Although Igboho could not be reached as calls to his telephone line indicated that he was out of reach, residents of Igangan however said that at least one youth from Igboora was killed by Fulani fighters while two others sustained injuries from gunshots.
The Seriki had also claimed that one Fulani woman was killed. He said he had fled the town before Igboho returned on Friday.
The claims from both sides could not be independently verified as of press time on Friday.
Igboho had last week issued a seven-day quit notice to the Seriki and his associates.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State had in a broadcast warned people fuelling ethic crisis in the state to desist from such act.
Despite this, Igboho and his supporters stormed Igangan on Friday afternoon.
Igboho, who addressed the youths earlier, had said, “They started deploying soldiers here since yesterday (Thursday). When our people were being kidnapped and killed, there was not soldier to be deployed to secure them.
Oyo State PPRO, Mr. Olugbenga Fadeyi, had said, “Tactical police teams with Operation Burst are on ground to give maximum security protection while efforts are on to ascertain the situation there.”
Meanwhile, Makinde said on Friday that his government would not allow anyone hiding under the guise of ethnic interest to perpetrate a crisis in the state.
Makinde said the war to be waged by the state and the security agencies was against criminal elements, irrespective of their tribes, religions or creed.
He added that his administration would not allow anyone to threaten the peace of the state by acting unlawfully as such was against the nation’s Constitution.
The governor, who spoke while receiving the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, had said the state government would not relent in placing priority on the welfare of security agencies in the state.
The governor had said, “For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals. For this administration, the major pillar for us is security, because we know that all the good economic plans we have won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.”