NIGERIA VERSUS SUNDAY IGBOHO - Yorùbá Self-Determination Movement

We believe in the Self-Determination rights of Yorùbá people.


Nov, 2022


By Prof. Banji Akintoye

The following is a story that illustrates most conclusively the Nigerian Federal Government’s complicity in the killings and other outrages by the Fulani marauders and other terrorists across Nigeria. The northwestern province of the Yoruba homeland, the area of Yewa, Ibarapa, and Oke-Ogun, has always been a peaceful rural area and the home of very productive farming Yoruba people. About 2010, a certain citizen of the province named Fatai Aborode returned home from abroad after many years of study in Germany, after obtaining a Doctorate degree in Engineering, and after an impressive professional career. On arrival back home, Dr. Aborode started a large modern farm which, at the peak of its success by 2020, employed as many as 320 workers of various specializations and grades.  Since 2015, large numbers of Fulani began to descend on the area, killing, maiming, raping, kidnapping, extorting ransom, destroying farms, farmsteads, and villages, and horribly wrecking all peace and security. They even had a coordinator, their appointed chieftain with the title of Seriki. Their reign of terror was so fierce that even the Obas of the area lived in fear of the Fulani Seriki. One of the Fulani groups once kidnapped a daughter of one of the Obas and held her for many days in the bush until a large ransom was raised and paid by the Oba. One day, some of the Fulani ambushed Dr. Aborode’s car on the public road near his farm, killed him, and fiendishly mutilated his body. In the public outcry that followed, another citizen of the area, a young man named Sunday Adeyemo (better known as Sunday Igboho) who lived in the city of Ibadan, decided to do something about the situation. Taking some youths with him, and responsibly asking for police protection for himself and his group, Sunday Igboho headed for the town of Igangan, the reported headquarters of the Fulani Seriki. In tense village after tense village on his way, large crowds of youths arose and joined his group – and so too did many policemen. By the time he reached Igangan, his following had swollen to over 3000 youths. He found the Seriki surrounded by a guard of many Fulani militiamen armed with AK47 rifles. As he stood before the Seriki, one of the Seriki’s militiamen shot at him, but he waved the shot aside and calmly continued to address the Seriki. He informed the Seriki that the people of the area wanted all the Fulani to leave their area, in the interest of peace. There was no violence in his words or actions, and some of the police had come in to observe what was happening. The Seriki, surrounded by his many heavily armed Fulani guards, could see that it would be senseless to argue with Sunday Igboho and his enormous crowd of followers. Before Sunday Igboho left, he gave the Seriki seven days to leave the area, and when he came back seven days later with his large following, the Seriki, and his Fulani marauders had fled from the province. Sunday Igboho became an instant national hero among his Yoruba people.  But instantly too, to Fulani people of all ranks, including even the Fulani in the highest peaks of the Nigerian Federal Government, Igangan became an unbearable Fulani failure and Sunday Igboho became the Fulanis’ number one enemy, an insufferable enemy that must be eliminated. For months, high-ranking Fulani citizens went to visit Igangan and neighboring towns, as if they were mourning the Fulani failure there. Since Sunday Igboho had committed no crime, they could not get him arrested, but they brooded over other options.  Then, on June 01, 2021, at one o’clock in the dead of night, some operatives of the Nigerian Department of State Security (DSS), leading an army of over 200 Fulani militiamen and terrorists, showed up outside Sunday Igboho’s Ibadan home. They had come not to arrest him but to kill him. They blocked the main highway and other roads passing through the neighborhood. Deeply surrounding the house, they embarked from the front on shooting and destroying everything of value – cars and bicycles (including neighbors’ cars), everything. Awakened by the noise, Sunday Igboho rushed to a window, yanked it open, and shouted “Who are you people? What do you want?”. They recognized his voice and some of them caught sight of his face by the brief illumination at the window. And they fired countless bullets at him.  They then forced their way into the house, more than a hundred guns blazing. In many neighboring houses, people fainted from the shock. Starting with the room where Sunday Igbohho had appeared at the window, they pulled down the house room by room, leaving nothing to chance. They killed two of the people asleep in the house and rounded up the rest. They even shot and killed the family cat – believing that it was Sunday Igboho transformed into a cat. Miraculously, though they searched and shredded the whole house from floor to roof, they never saw Sunday Igboho anywhere in it. When they left, they took the two blood-soaked corpses with them, as well as the persons whom they had arrested at the house.  The DSS operatives returned to Abuja by road. In the outskirts of Ibadan, they paid off the militiamen whom they had hired for the invasion of Sunday Igboho’s home, and these departed for their hideout in some forest near Ibadan. (The Fulani had established tens of heavily armed hideouts all over Yorubaland - hideouts being supplied with food and weapons by helicopter from hidden sources in Northern Nigeria). In Ekiti State, the DSS operatives dropped off the two corpses at a public mortuary. Back in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, the DSS hurried to display to the public a collection of weapons that they claimed they had seized from Sunday Igboho’s home. Their intention was to use this to paint the picture that Sunday Igboho was an insurrectionist who had been hoarding weapons. But their luck quickly ran out when many citizens in different parts of the country identified the weapons collection as the same collection that the DSS had displayed before in connection with a previous criminal case. The office of the Attorney General of Nigeria then issued a statement denying the government’s involvement in the attack on Sunday Igboho’s home. But when the DSS arraigned in court the men and women whom they had arrested in Sunday Igboho’s home, lawyers from the Attorney General’s office came to present the DSS case. The government then announced that Sunday Igboho was wanted by the law.  In Ibadan, Sunday Igboho’s lawyers filed his case in the Nigerian High Court against the government and its agents – that they had acted illegally by going to his house at night, that they had abused his human and civic rights, that they had killed some people asleep in his home, that they had destroyed his property, etc. Having no answer to these charges, the DSS and the government lawyers pleaded that the justification for their actions against Sunday Igboho was that he had been engaging in secessionist activity by advocating the self-determination and separation of his Yoruba nation from Nigeria.  But in its judgment, the court ruled that self-determination was the inalienable right of every nation, that advocating self-determination was not an offense under the laws of Nigeria, and that the government’s agents acted illegally by going to a citizen’s home at night, by bombarding the house, by killing people there, and by destroying the house. The court then awarded 20 billion damages for Sunday Igboho against the government and its agents. The court ordered, finally, that the government’s order declaring Sunday Igboho wanted should be withdrawn by the government. Days passed, until the deadline set by law for an appeal against the High Court’s judgment passed. If Nigeria had been a land of law, that should have been the end of this case in court. But under this Fulani-led government, Nigeria is very far from being a land of law. Weeks after the deadline had passed; the government’s agents and lawyers appeared before the court, seeking to file an appeal. The judge responded that they had lost the deadline for filing an appeal. But this was Nigeria. A week or so later, the court judge was transferred or just shoved aside, and a new judge, a Fulani judge, was brought from somewhere in Northern Nigeria to hear the appeal. And he did what he had been brought in to do – he struck down every single point in the earlier court’s judgment. However, Sunday Igboho’s lawyers immediately embarked on the steps needed for an appeal to the Nigerian Supreme Court.

Chief Sunday Igboho.jpeg 29.96 KB


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