A cross section of Nigerians on Saturday berated Police Inspector General Mohammed Adamu following his order for the arrest of the Southwest activist, Sunday Adeyemo alias Sunday Igboho.
Many of them took to the social media to express displeasure at what they called Adamu’s bias against certain parts of the country in the discharge of his official duties.
However, an Oyo State Government delegation and a separate police team led by the new Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, are due in Ibarapa area of the state on Sunay, particularly Igangan, the scene of Friday’s mayhem, for an on the spot assessment of the situation.
There was uneasy calm in the area on Saturday.
BBC Hausa on Saturday quoted Mallam Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity as saying that the IGP informed him of his directive to the Oyo State Police Command to arrest Igboho and transfer him to Abuja.
Igboho’s alleged sin is the quit order he issued that criminals should quit Ibarapa within seven days.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) accused Adamu of partiality and double standards by ordering the arrest.
The group said the same IGP refused to order the arrest of the leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Badejo, who he said “has for five years made threats against diverse ethnic communities to take over their lands and threatening civil war in Nigeria.”
HURIWA in a statement issued by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said: “The retiring Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu should also arrest one Bello Badejo, the national president of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, who says nobody can chase herdsmen away from the forest reserves in Ondo State.
“As we know, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), the governor of Ondo, ordered herders to vacate the forest reserves over rising insecurity in the state.
“As governor, he is exercising a lawful authority, but Bello Badejo has threatened fire and brimstone but President Muhammadu Buhari, who controls the police and all other security forces, has seen nothing untoward and unlawful with the violent tendencies of Bello Badejo, just because he is the kinsman of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
HURIWA wondered why “the Police, the DSS and all other security forces have consistently looked the other way whilst armed herdsmen continued to unleash mayhem and violence.”
It argued that the order to arrest Sunday IGBOHO ” shows that the heads of the security forces are compromised ethnic and religious warriors and bigots who are determined to drag Nigeria down the routes of Somalia or former ethnically divided Rwanda.”
A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode tweeted: “New leaders are rising up in the SW. They are strong, fearless, radical & young.
“Names like Sunday Igboho, Olayomi Koiki and others come to mind. The SW has finally got a new set of champions & heroes. They believe in Oduduwa Republic. None can stand against them. I commend them.”
Another commentator, Fedrick Nwabufo, said:”We need peace. Asking other Nigerians to leave your state will only incite chaos. Reprisal quit orders.
“And those of you celebrating this tragedy, please note it could be your own ethnic group tomorrow. No one wins in this crisis.”
Investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyomobo, said: “When a government sleeps while its people are abducted and slaughtered, the emergence of people like Sunday Igboho is inevitable.
“All the noise from the Oyo Gov against Igboho’s boldfaced declaration is just to save face. Wake up to your responsibility or watch a commoner take charge!”
Ondo first born tweeted: “There’s Sunday Igboho from Igboho, Oyo State today. If something is not quickly done about this herdsmen menace, there will be Sunday Ilesha, Sunday Akure, Sunday Iworoko, Sunday Abeokuta, Sunday Bariga who will rise up to protect their people from these criminal elements.”
Ifa Funsho said: “You have been lamenting for protection from the government for a very long time, govt did nothing. Sunday Igboho is out there doing what the government should do but you’re on Twitter calling him names. Any Yoruba person speaking against Sunday Igboho is OMO ALE.”
“If the threat of Sunday Igboho and his face-off with the Oyo State Govt is not quickly looked into…we may have a security challenge that will not augur well for SW. When it snowballs, people will blame Buhari for the problem. Playing politics with security is a no-no!” Bayo Adedosu tweeted.
Also, a group, Ibarapa Development Forum in a statement said the state governor, Makinde, disappointed the residents of the Ibarapa axis of the state amidst endless tragedies of kidnappings, maiming, destruction of hundreds of acres of farmlands and killings.
Oyo govt delegation for Ibarapa today
An Oyo State government delegation and a police team led by Police Commissioner Ngozi Onadeko are expected in Ibarapa area of the state, including Igangan, the scene of Friday’s mayhem, for an on the spot assessment of the situation.
The two delegations, it was gathered, will visit trouble spots to see things for themselves.
They will be joined by stakeholders and traditional rulers and a police tactical team from the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
A report of the on the spot assessment will be made public, a source said last night.
It was also gathered that some Yoruba elders have stepped in to ensure that peace returns quickly to the Ibarapa axis and that the trouble does not spill over to other parts of the country.
Uneasy calm at Igangan after Sunday Igboho’s visit
Igangan was relatively calm yesterday, 24 hours after mayhem was visited on the town by youths who set ablaze some houses and cars belonging to the Sarkin Fulani in the town, Saliu Abdulkadir.
The streets were largely deserted yesterday partly on account of the annual Oro festival.
Residents are living with utmost security consciousness, some in fear of either a reprisal attack by herdsmen or arrest by security agencies.
A resident who spoke to The Nation in confidence expressed satisfaction with Igboho’s visit and what it means for security of the people in Ibarapa land at large. The resident said they were positive about Adeyemo’s visit, adding that they were prepared to repel any reprisal attack.
“Let me tell you that we were happy with what Sunday Igboho did. He is like a liberator. We need such action because we have not been sleeping with our two eyes closed. It’s either somebody is kidnapped on his farm or somebody is robbed or killed. The government is also not helping because we don’t see them taking any decisive step,” the resident said.
The Convener, Igangan Development Advocates (IDA), Mr Oladokun Oladiran, said that tradition demands that every resident should keep indoors during the grand finale of the Oro festival which was yesterday.
Oladiran said: “Things are quiet in Igangan as Oro festival curfew is now ongoing.
“It’s been on for some days now. Today (Saturday) is ‘Ahamo’, meaning indoor.
“All must be indoors. It has been on for seven days, but today (Saturday) is the peak.
“All women will be indoors.”
However, when asked about the mood of the people of the town following the Friday visit of Sunday Ighoho, the IDA convener lauded Igboho while also calling for extra vigilance and redefined strategic security information in Igangan and Ibarapaland as a whole.
He said the visit has helped to rekindle the hope of the freedom of the people in living peacefully in their homes, adding that no family could boast of unscathed life in the hand of the criminal elements among the herders.
He said: “Several years under the continuous woes of herdsmen banditry, Igangan’s hope of regaining peace kept being dimmed until Friday, January 21, 2021 when the whole of Ibarapa land suddenly went agog with renewed strength of reclaiming their land.
“The long-awaited, sought and longed for ray of hope for liberation glimmered in the form of Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho.
“Such a massive uproar might never have attended any saga in recent Ibarapa history.
“It was not surprising, for not a single household in Ibarapa North-West LCDA could boast of unscathed life in the hand of the ever-terrorising herders.
“For several years, farm plundering was their full time business, which grew audaciously in leaps and bounds.
“With no disciplinary measures ever meted out to the now reverential herdsmen, their audacity has leaped in bounds from just grazing upon the sweats of Ibarapa farmers to maiming and lynching any farmer who dared raise a voice in deference to their destructive resolve.
“Notorious criminals increased the spate of kidnapping and bloodshed upon the whole of Ibarapaland.
“Men were butchered on their farms, farmers abandoned their indigenous lands as hordes of herdsmen took over Ibarapa people’s farmlands.”