A Yoruba rights activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, known as Sunday Igboho, has said that he is not afraid that he could lose his life in the struggle because the plight of the Yoruba people should be paramount than personal interests.
He said despite his family concerns about him and his life, he will continue to chart good course for the Yoruba land against killer herdsmen.
The popular businessman spoke during an interview with journalists in Ibadan on Saturday in response to the controversies trailing his resolve to end the violence of the killer herders in the South-West and the possible danger in it.
Recall that following the eviction of the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Saliu Abubakar, there were criticisms against him which got to the peak with the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, ordering his arrest.
However, despite the implications of his actions, he said, “I am not afraid of anything or anyone but God. God is the owner and controller of every soul. It is only God who can kill me. No human being can kill me, so I cannot be afraid of any mortal.
“My children challenged and persuaded me to quit the struggle every day. They wave the caution sign to me every time. My wife is also very worried about the cause that I fight but I have to do this for the liberation of my people, anyway. But I am equally worried for my people who are being dehumanised and oppressed in their own territory for no just reason.
“Those who should address the issue just fold their arms and watch because they are compromised. This struggle is for the good of all so that when I am gone they would not live in subjection.”
He urged the Yoruba people to be united and stop playing politics with their destiny, saying, “We deserve to be united, so I preach unity of purpose among the Yoruba people. Our royal fathers, politicians, the youth and the elders should speak with one voice.
“There should not be dispute or discord in Yorubaland. I appeal to all units to speak with one voice. Our Kabiyesis should speak with one voice, likewise the politicians. They should remember history; our leaders should remember that the first Oyo Empire was mowed down by this same set of people. The second Oyo Empire at Igboho Oyo was equally destroyed by the same people. This time, our people must be protected by all Yoruba people.”
Igboho, who denied the allegation that he was responsible for the destruction and burning of Seriki’s properties in Igangan, lamented that Ibarapa and Oke Ogun communities are currently living in fear as they were being harassed and attacked by one Isikilu Wakili, a Fulani herder in Ayete community.
He said, “The people are living in fear. They are afraid that the people might attack them and that is being done by one Isikilu Wakili. He has turned himself into terror and authority in the area and nothing is being done to address the situation. We heard about this two months ago and like I said, nothing is being done to address it. If the governor hears about Wakili killing our people, harassing them and plundering their farm and yet little or nothing is being done, it is sad. We expected the governor to direct the security agencies to smoke him out but there is virtually no action.
“Our own fear is that our leaders are friends of the Fulani, who know the herdsmen, who are criminals in our midst. Our appeal to the Fulani is to bring the killer herders in our midst to book.”
Denying the allegation that he was invited to Ogun State by the governor, he said, “No; it was not on the invitation of the governor. We are Yoruba people in our own right, we can fight for freedom. Our fathers and brothers were killed by herders while our people die in silence. Our mothers and sisters are raped, farmlands are vandalised and crops are eaten up by their cattle. They kidnap and take big ransom. Just as the case in Igangan, our people in Ogun could not bear it any longer, so they called for help. That was what happened.”
He called for concerted efforts in addressing the problem being faced, adding, “Our Obas are the custodians of our culture and heritage in Yorubaland. Today, our Kabiyesis across Yorubaland up to Kwara and Kogi states, as well as Edo and Delta states, should speak with one voice. As things stand, I thank our royal fathers for their efforts. I thank all the Yoruba Obas starting from the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona; I thank our father, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and also thanks to our father, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi. I must pay obeisance to the Awujale for his fearless and dogged spirit and courage. He wants peace, he wants justice, he stands for the truth and I pray that the Lord keep him stronger than yesterday. The Aare Ona Kakanfo, Iba Gani Adams, has also thrown his weight behind this cause.”