Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho disclosed that those who attacked his residence in the wee hours of Thursday were decked in the uniform of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Army even as the pan Yoruba group, Afenifere asked the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute those behind the attack on his residence.
The umbrella body maintained that there is no crime in the agitations of Mr Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Igboho, stressing that all rallies organised by Igboho were non-violent, thus there was no need for the invasion of his house.
Speaking from his hide out on Thursday, Igboho told the Pidgin Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) confirmed that two persons were killed in his compound when the shooting was too much around 2am.
In the audio, which has been uploaded on the Facebook page of BBC, Pidgin English, the activist said: “Around 1:30 am, I heard gunshots in front of my house. It was a sporadic shooting. They shouted: ‘Sunday Igboho, come out. We are DSS. We are soldiers.’
“So, I peeped through the window, and I saw them in DSS uniforms and Nigerian Army uniforms. So, I was surprised. What is the trouble all about? I have not killed anybody. I have not fought with anybody.
“What I am doing is support for my people. Then, all the rallies that I am doing have been peaceful. So, I fight for my family because the Fulani bandits have been killing my family, raping them, kidnapping them and taking ransom from them.
“I know the government refused to do the right thing for my family. And that is why I came out to support my family, to fight for our rights. So, I was surprised.”
When asked if he was in the house when the gunmen came and how many people were killed in his compound, Igboho responsed: “Yes, I was in the house when they came. There are two guys that they killed around 2 am when the shooting was too much.”
The audio, which was uploaded by the BBC, ended abruptly during the interview, when he said, “Then, they destroyed all my property. They destroyed my vehicles, and all my house. I have like N2 milion inside my wardrobe ….”
Meanwhile, Afenifere, in a statement issued on behalf of its Acting Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, by the National Publicity Secretary of the body, Jare Ajayi, Afenifere said, “What is wrong in canvassing for self-determination so long as such agitation is devoid of violence? The constitution the country is running guarantees the right of every Nigerian to express an opinion and even carry out rallies as long as such is done without violence. To the best of our knowledge, none of the rallies that Sunday Igboho has led in his campaign for a Yoruba nation could be said to be violent nor was he implicated in illegal activities. Why then should he be subjected to the kind of treatment his household received on Thursday morning?”
Afenifere said even if Igboho committed any crime he should have been dealt with according to the law, and described the attack as reminiscences Abacha’s style governance, “when anyone who expressed opinions contrary to government’s position would be fatally attacked.”
He further said, “Assuming that Igboho actually committed an offence, when did it become the norm to go and bombard the house of a suspect in a dastardly manner that armed forces attacked Igboho’s house early this morning?”
Afenifere maintained that the manner attack, less than 72 hours to Igboho’s scheduled rally in Lagos, on Saturday to further canvass for a Yoruba nation indicated culpability on the part of those in authority, and accused the security agencies of violating the rights of the citizens because the previous violations were not checked.
“We are forced into this deduction for a number of reasons. Firstly, eyewitness accounts indicated that the vehicles and uniforms of the attackers were that of the security agencies. Secondly, the failure of security agencies to confront the attackers further implicated the government. It was reported that the attack lasted for more than three hours. Igboho’s residence is in a highly-populated area within minutes’ reach to surrounding police stations. That no rescue team came from any of the police units including the DSS office in Ibadan for the several hours that the attack lasted makes it difficult not to believe that the government is complicit in the attack.
“We recall with sadness how voices that were opposed to the dictatorial tendencies of Abacha regime were under serious attacks. We recalled how patriots like General Alani Akinrinade, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Pa Alfred Rewane etc were attacked resulting in the untimely and gruesome murder of Pa Rewane. We recall how armed men of Customs Service in the wee hours of the night invaded Bodija market in Ibadan to bugle the shops of traders in that market. Because the government officials that did it were not checked, they had the audacity to repeat the same action at Agbeni market also in Ibadan about two weeks later. The fact that perpetrators of these acts were not arrested let alone tried in the court of law convinces us that they were state-sponsored,” Afenifere said.