The last clearly has not been heard about the travails of the South West ‘militant’ leader, ‘Sunday Igboho,’ whose home was invaded by security operatives last week on the heels of his advertised ‘mother of all rallies’ that took place in Lagos at the weekend.
At the core of disputation presently is finding an answer to the puzzle as to when a struggle for self determination has become a crime.
While Igboho insists that he is on a crusade to secure self-determination for his people, the Department of State Security has countered that their raid on his home had led to the recovery of ammunition and the security service has now consequently declared him wanted.
For many an observer then, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho is now battling for survival as he is now being haunted by the government over his role in the agitation for self-determination of the Oduduwa Republic for the Yoruba nation.
Igboho shot into the limelight when he gave the Fulani in Igangan in the Ibarapa area of Oyo state an altimatum to quit over what he termed their allegedly aiding the acts of kidnaping and banditry being carried out in the area by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
He eventually carried out the order as he evicted the Serikin Fulani who was alleged to be living big from the proceeds of ransom payments being demanded by those alleged to be perpetrating the atrocities in Ibarapa.
His action was widely reported and it got the powers that be at the federal level to be angry, especially the presidency which is being controlled by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Since the Ibarapa saga, Igboho has been in the bad books of the Fulanìs and indeed elements within the federal government which felt that he took laws into his hands and he had no such powers to evict any citizen who had the right to live in any parts of Nigeria as the constitution expressly stipulates. But Igboho and many in the South West rebut this position, saying that the action was only carried out after the failure of the state to guarantee the security and safety of the people of the area.
Shortly after Igboho reportedly drove the Serikin Fulani out of Igangan, he began the open campaign of awareness for the self determination of the Yoruba people and the creation of Oduduwa Republic.
This campaign has been going.on for months and it has gone to many parts of the cities in the South West and it was to now to take place in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the South West and the nation last Saturday when the State Security operatives stormed his house in what many interpreted as a move designed to apparently prevent the Lagòs rally taking place.
Indeed, since the campaign started Igbouo has faced many attacks both verbal and physical. His home has been reportedly raided several times and quite strangely by those who could not be identified.
But the climax of the raids came when men of the DSS stormed his house in the wee hours of July 1, destroyed properties and killed two people including his uncle who had come visiting from Abeokuta.
Also during the raid, 12 people were arrested and are now in the custody of the DSS, awaiting trial.
The Igboho attack has raised many issues as to the legality of the DSS to carry out such raid.
While it is believed in some quarters that it is wrong and they ought not to have done that without a search warrant or his being invited others said the it was high abuse of power and called the federal government to call the DSS to order.
It was also said that the loss of lives in the attack left much to be desired and it was meant to prevent the Saturday rally in Lagos.
On their part, the DSS claimed that their action was based on the information that Igboho had stock piled ammunitions in his home, and some of the ammunition allegedly recovered during the raid and several other items were displayed. But even this has generated a lot of controversies and reactions from Nigerians especially Yoruba leaders and legal practitioners.
The argument also was that the ammunitions allegedly found in his house could have been planted or taken out from some armory and displayed to implicate Igboho.
Igboho himself has come out to say that he had no such things in his house and that the invaders made away with some of his money when they raided his house, and also destroyed his properties.
Also, while reacting, an analyst, MrAdeyemi said Igboho should be a lucky person given that bombs were not even planted in his house during the raid.
On his part, the leader of the IsokanEgbeomo Yoruba, the umbrella body guiding Igboho’s action and the documentation for the actualisation of the Yoruba nation, Professor BanjiAkintoye, condemned the DSS action saying that the raid of Igboho’s house showed the partiality of the government of President Buhari and the preference he has for his Fulani tribesmen who were not this viciously sought after despite their atrocities and actions to undermine his government, but that they were going after those carrying out legitimate demands.
There were also news reports as at the time of going to press that Igboho was now pressing a legal challenge to the invasion of his home.
He is reportedly demanding a public apology and damages of N500m, while also calling on South West governors to wade into the fray.
Meetings of both the South West and Southern Governors are expected to hold within the week.