Scores of youths stormed Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Wednesday and staged peaceful protests on some major streets in the city against the arrest of the Yoruba nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, fondly called Sunday Igboho, in Cotonou, Republic on Monday night.
The youths, numbering over 200, took off from the frontage of Ighobo’s house, Soka, Ibadan, that was raided in the early hours of July 1, 2021, by the Department of State Security (DSS), over allegation of stockpiling arms and ammunition to destabilise Nigeria on the pretext of fighting for freedom for his people.
The DSS in collaboration with other security agencies, however, arrested 13 persons in Igboho’s house, killed two persons and went away with their corpses. He was also declared wanted.l by the DSS.
But on Wednesday, the youths, protesting Ighobo’s arrest, thronged Soka roads, streets in Sanyo, Felele, to Challenge area, and to the Music House, housing the Fresh FM of the popular gospel music artiste, Yinka Ayefele, on Lagos bypass of Challenge, before they returned to their take-off point.
The inscriptions on the placards they carried, included: ‘Free Ighobo now. I stand with Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho Oosa’, ‘Chief Sunday is fighting for freedom. No going back. Chief Sunday is fighting for freedom,’ Alaanu Talika, kinni Sunday she? E beru Olorun. Idajo yin de tan. E fi Ighobo sile!!! ‘Igboho is not a criminal, I stand with Igboho.’ But the shout of ‘Igboho Oosa rented the atmosphere as they thronged Ibadan streets.
Some of the protesters, who spoke to journalists, include Oyedokun Abiodun, fondly called Aworo; David Ajulo; Azeez Sullaiman; Alhaji Yusuf Ajikobi; and Atakoro Omo Yerepe, as well as those that did not want their names mentioned in print.
According to David Ajulo: “I am appealing to Yoruba monarchs. They should rise up in defense of Igboho. It should be known that many people in Yorubaland have suffered a lot in the hands of criminal herdsmen. They have raped, killed, kidnapped, took ransom and destroyed farmlands. So, many people are grieving in Yorubaland. Nobody came to their rescue, even the Federal Government and security agencies did not come to assist the Yoruba being terrorised by criminal herdsmen.
“If you have the record, you can challenge me the number of criminal herdsmen that have been arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for committing those crimes mentioned. Based on the fact that the Federal Government is not tackling the menace, the criminal herdsmen still live in Yorubaland and they continued to commit the atrocities.
“The Igboho rose in defence of his people. It is now that the Federal Government has risen against him. This is not right. The Federal Government should make correction.”
Also, one Mr. Azeez Sullaiman, said the Federal Government should remember how the war that led to the end of the First Republic, started in Ibadan between 1960 and 1964, saying: “We are not praying for civil war like Biafra. But when a goat is pushed to the wall, it will fight back.
“At the same time, the Federal Government should release those arrested in Igboho’s house on July 1, during a bloody raid of his house in Ibadan. We are also demanding for the release of the Yoruba nation agitators that were arrested during a peaceful rally in Ojota, Lagos, on Saturday July 3, this year. We are aware that the court has granted them bail, but the bail conditions were too stringent. They have not been able to meet the baik conditions.”
Another speaker, said: “The Federal Government and enemies of Yoruba nations wanted to provoke the boys of Igboho to fight and probably shed blood so that they could press murder charge against Igboho. No it is not going to happen, the way they thought it would happen.”
Atakoro Omo Yerepe, however, appealed to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi; and other prominent Yoruba monarchs, as well as the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, to rise in defence of Igboho.
It was also gathered that some Yoruba people residing in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, staged a peaceful protest in nation’s court, where it was believed that Igboho would be taken to on Wednesday for hearing of the case on whether he should be extradites to Nigeria or he should be granted an assylum.
Igboho was arrested at Cotonou Airport on Monday night, with his wife on their way to Germany. As gathered, he had already beaten the security and was on his way to board when it was discovered that it is Igboho. He was told that he could not board. Then, he reportedly left without being noticed by security. The travel agent that that booked the flight for him was said to have called Igboho that the matter had been resolved and that he should come back. He was arrested when he returned to the airport.
The protest in Cotonou was made known by a video clip posted by Olayomi Koiki, Igboho’s media aide, on his Facebook wall. In the video CT, the Yoruba in Cotonou sang solidarity song as they demanded freedom for Igboho. The protesters also advocated independent nation for Yoruba people.
According to them, Benin Republic has a solid justice system and that they have confidence in the judiciary of the country, adding that the justice system would free Igboho at last.