YORUBA activist Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a Sunday Igboho) on Tuesday alleged that some Yoruba leaders were supporting criminal herders to perpetrate their nefarious activities in the Southwest.
He also alleged that such leaders supported those who burnt one of his houses in Ibadan, Oyo State, in the early hours of Tuesday.
Igboho, who fielded questions from reporters in his damaged residence at Soka area, challenged those who have scores to settle with him to confront him, instead of setting his house ablaze.
The police have begun investigation into the destruction of Igboho’s property, according to the Oyo State Police Command spokesman Gbenga Fadeyi.
The embattled activist said he lost property worth N50 million.
Explaining how the fire was put out, the Director of Operations, Oyo State Fire and Safety Service, Adeleke Ismail said: “The Oyo State Fire Service Agency was called to the fire incident at exactly 03.20 hours of Tuesday, 26th January 2021 through a GSM number.
“Instantly, our men moved to the location with the new Mercedes Fire Tender FS 10 OY with four personnel from the Molete Station and on arrival at the house, which was located at Soka area of Ibadan, found out that the waiting room and passage of the three-bedroom flat were alight.”
The Service said a resident, who identified himself as Mr. Wale, drew its attention to incident.
It said: “The fire ravaged the following items: a set of sofa in the waiting room where the fire started, a Plasma TV, an air conditioner and other items in the waiting room.
“At about 04.30 hours, the fire truck and four personnel of the Agency led by Principal Fire Superintendent II, Ogunkanbi, returned to the station and stand by for operational duties.”
Igboho denied enjoying any financial patronage from politicians, challenging any politician with a genuine claim that he was paid to do what he is doing to come out.
He said until the herders who are killing people in the region move out, he will not be deterred.
Igboho also chided a Special Adviser on Political Matters to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, for his remarks about him, saying he never met him.
Igboho said: “What is surprising to me is that I never expected that we Yoruba people should be in support of the evils being perpetrated by the herdsmen. I am surprised that the Fulani are killing our people in our own territory. They rape and kidnap our people.
“It is a terrible thing. So, I am trying to repel them. But, it is shocking to me that, despite the efforts that I am making some Yoruba people are supporting Fulani herdsmen to set my house on fire. It is so distressing and it saddens me.
“For now, I am not suspecting anybody. But, Yoruba people would say there is no action without a cause; it is a pointer to the fact that enemies within are at work. Inasmuch as I am their target they should have come to my house to confront me.
“I would have been able to pin some of them down to get to root of this. they wouldn’t have gone scotfree. Now, they resulted to destroying my property.
“It is until the Fulani men who are killing our people move out that the scores would be settle. And, there is no politician who can induce or pay me for the course that I am running.
“Since the herdsmen go about perpetrating heinous crimes, government never intervened. It is not just happening today. It was my visit that opened the cans of warm.
“I needed to go to there because it is where I come from. They are my family members. It is the same tribal marks that I am wearing that Dr. Aborode who was killed had on his face. I can’t keep mum in the face of oppression and humiliation.
“Any politician who has a genuine claim that I was paid to do this should come forth. Nobody is bankrolling me. The simple point that I am making is that there might be peace in Yoruba land. The Fulani herdsmen should not subject us in our own territory. But, it is disheartening that fellow Yoruba men would gang up against a just course.
“I heard that Femi Ojudu alleged that I had a meeting with him in Ibadan in 2009 during the election period.
“I can see clearly that he is mentally sick. when people came to confirm or deny Ojodu’s claim I responded by saying that he should swear with the life of his children if he ever had a meeting with me.
He added: “I see that my agitation against the killer herdsmen is being politicised to discredit my personality to get me distressed but their plot would fail. The schemes by the politicians would not stand. All the lies being peddled against me by Femi Ojudu would fail.
“I never knew him and they are cooking lies against me. It is until the Fulani men who are killing our people move out that the scores would be settle. And, there is no politician who can say I’m involved in heinous crimes and government never intervened. It is not just happening today. It was my visit that opened the cans of warm.”
Igboho also dissociated himself from the various accounts on social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter, posting unverified information in his name.
He warned Nigerians not to be scammed by persons using his name on social media platforms, saying the accounts are being operated fraudulently by impostors.
We’ll secure Ibarapa, says Oyo Speaker
OYO State House of Assembly Speaker Adebo Ogundoyin said the government will secure the lives and properties of the people of Ibarapa
The Speaker, who urged residents to brace for security challenges, said a security summit has been scheduled for tomorrow in Ibarapa Central Local Government Area.
He said security chiefs, traditional rulers, religious and community leaders, representatives of ethnic groups, youths, and farmers will brainstorm at the meeting.
Ogundoyin said: “Security and welfare of citizens is the primary responsibility of government. My meetings with different stakeholders and security chiefs in the last few weeks on the spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, assassination and other crimes in Ibarapa land have revealed the need for a synergy of plans.
“Normally, security plans and strategies are not made public in crisis situation like this. However, we will work in tandem with the stakeholders and security heads to ensure implementation of our strategies.
“This is why all stakeholders are expected to attend the summit so that we can further fine tune ways of securing our land and exposing the evil doers who are all out to shed our blood and dispossess us of our hard-earned money and properties.”
The speaker said farmers/herders clashes in Ibarapa and across Oyo State will be addressed permanently once the law on anti-open rearing and grazing of livestock, which he sponsored and was passed by the Assembly, is fully implemented.
He added: “However, we must not allow the situation to degenerate into full blown tribal or ethnic feud. We must avoid turning our land to a war zone. Everything possible must be done to ensure that our land does not become a battle field or a war zone.
“Nobody prays for war in our land and this is why we have to come to a roundtable so as to agree on how best to approach this issue.”