…as group accuses APC leader of complicity
Mainstream campaign organisation for the 2023 presidential ambition of National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has sneered at an accusation that Tinubu is remotely behind the hot chase for Sunday Igboho, the embattled leader of Yoruba Nation agitators.
The organisation, codenamed T23 (Tinubu 2023) said this rebuttal had become necessary in the wake of the latest allegation by a group-Sunshine Liberation Movement (SLM), accusing Tinubu of being federal government’s torchbearer, in the move to arrest and prosecute Igboho.
Oyo State-born Igboho was arrested at the airport in Cotonou, Benin Republic on Monday by that country’s police, while he, in company with his wife, was trying to escape to Germany.
But resistance by his supporters who sought the intervention of International Criminal Court (ICC) has reportedly stalked Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
But responding to the development in a chat with First News, the T23 National Coordinator, Dr. Oladipupo Okeyomi, said it was saddening that some “uninformed persons coming under different groups have been linking Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to what he is not connected with.”
He took particular note of an accusation by the SLM that Tinubu is working against Igboho and other Yoruba people solely to get President Muhammadu Buhari’s support for his presidential ambition.
The SLM, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Elder Dipo Ajidahun, also accused the APC National Leader of aiding the ‘sale’ of Yorubaland to another ethnic group, because of self interest.
But countering the group, Okeyomi said, “Well, I am not sure Tinubu can be fighting or working against Igboho or any other Yoruba people.
“I don’t know where they did the negotiation to sell our land to anybody; Yorubaland belongs to the Yoruba and nobody can sell it to any other region or ethnic group.
“If they must know, Tinubu’s presence in national politics has made the Yoruba people to become key players, as our people who were relegated to the background in the past, are now calling the shots.”
He said Tinubu is not selfish as alleged, noting that while he supported many people to attain one position or the other, he himself occupies no office.
Okeyomi noted that while Igboho himself had not made any accusation against Tinubu, he wondered why the SLM “should shoulder the unsolicited responsibility”.
But the SLM in its statement, had said that “we are disappointed that Tinubu’s body language indicates that he is remotely behind Igboho’s ordeal”.
“If not, why did he keep sealed lip when long before the Yoruba nation agitation started, Igboho had been shouting against kidnapping for ransom and farmland destruction by armed Fulani herdsmen?
“We are also convinced that he, as someone the Yoruba masses looked up to, should have spoken against attempts to subtly sell Yoruba lands to Fulani herders in the name of ranching villages or whatever names they are called.
“This we believe he is doing solely to gain the support of President Buhari for his presidential ambition,” the group alleged.
The SLM also cautioned that for the much-sought Nigerian unity to be achieved, the Yoruba race “must be fairly treated as against what has prevailed over the years.”
“During the Biafran war, the Yoruba people stood with the Hausa/Fulani to maintain one Nigeria; but at the end of the war, our gallant military officers were ‘compensated’ with sudden retirement and no monument was named after them.
“While we do not want to reopen old wound, the best way to heal it is to go the way of fairness and justice,” the group demanded.