Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has reacted to the attack on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
Acting Leader of the group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo in a statement signed on Thursday by the National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi said the attack was a “sad reminder of what Nigerians went through under the inglorious regime of late General Sani Abacha.”
The group said further that, “the attack is a sad indicator that we are fast returning to the era of late Sani Abacha when anyone who expressed opinions contrary to government’s position would be fatally attacked.”
According to Afenifere, the manner of the attack indicated culpability on the part of those in authority.
“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 the attack lasted makes it difficult not to believe that the government is complicit in the attack,” the statement read in part.
Afenifere however, made reference to how voices that were opposed to the dictatorial tendencies of the Abacha regime were suppressed.
“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.”
The pan-Yoruba organization said it is forced to make this deduction because Sunday Igboho is known to be at the forefront of agitations to have the Yoruba nation.
“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.
Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS) has called on Mr. Igboho to turn himself to security agencies as the agency stressed that it has launched a manhunt for the Yoruba nation agitation.
DSS spokesman Peter Afunanya said this in a press briefing on Thursday evening in Abuja while confirming a raid on Igboho’s house in Ibadan, Oyo State by the security agency.
“Consequently, Adeyemo Igboho is advised to turn himself in to the nearest security agency,” Afunanya said during the briefing in which he noted that the agency captured thirteen of Igboho’s men.
“Those cheering and eulogising him may appeal to or advise him to do the needful. He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law. Meanwhile, those arrested will be charged accordingly.”
He said that the DSS recovered a cache of illegal arms, including seven AK-47 rifles from Igboho’s house during the raid carried out on Thursday morning.
Afunanya narrated that when the security operatives approached the house, they were attacked by nine of Igboho’s boys who engaged them in a gun duel but were subsequently overpowered.
The DSS official explained that two of Igboho’s men were killed while an operative sustained injuries. He, however, said Igboho escaped during the gun battle and is currently on the run.