ByChief Mike Ozekhome, SAN
INTRODUCTIONSunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba rights activist has declared he will not be intimidated by the recent fresh attempt by the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest him. He said any attempt to arrest him on Yorubaland will fail woefully.
Nnamdi Kanu still in DSS custody, is as defiant as ever. He insists he has committed no offence known to law. But, Boko Haram and ISWAP reign supreme. Two faces of a government’s contradictions!Igboho, a self-determination warlord agitating for the South-West region, had been in the news for serving quit notice on killer Fulani herdsmen terrorising some parts of the South-West, killing, maiming, raping and spreading terror like fertilizer on plants.
Mr Igboho said he was never invited before the attempt to arrest him. He does not understand why he was being targeted. He advised the Federal Government to focus on capturing Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, and inviting Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who has recently been meeting with bandits. Gumi negotiates ransome with terrorists! By the way, as we speak, over 120 kids of Bethel Baptist School are held in captivity by AK-47-wielding armed bandits in Kaduna.
For those who do not know, Kaduna is the home to some of the most critical military institutions and installations in Nigeria. How they operate freely and seamlessly under the close watch of these National Security apparatchik should worry Nigerians. Wait for the egregious news: the bandits have now demanded from parents of the kidnapped school children, provision of food for the feeding of their children!
According to one Madugu, they demanded for 20 bags of local rice; 10 bags of imported rice; 20 bags of beans; 10 cartons of maggi cubes; 10 kegs of vegetable oil; and 2 bags of salt! Can you imagine that?Earlier, in April, 2021, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state had confirmed that terrorists had displaced 3000 residents, seized wives; and hoisted flags of sovereignty in Kaure and Shiroro LGAd, just 140 kilometers to Abuja, the Nigerian seat of power. Only few days ago, armed bandits killed 52 in Kaduna and Zamfara.
Before then, Boko Haram/ISWAP had announced to a bewildered Nation (not shocked, because we have since become unshockable) that they have appointed a Governor for parts of Borno state, by name Abba-Kaka. While accepting the undoubted leadership of Abu Musa Al Barnawi (son of Mohammed Yusuf, Boko Haram founder), the group named Abba-Kaka as Governor of Tumbumma, with jurisdiction over Marte, Abadam, Kukawa, Magumeri and other areas of the Lake Chad region. It is said that the APC Governor, Babagana Zulum, now controls 22 LGA’s, while the ISWAP controls 5 LGSs.
Good gracious!Setting up a full blown government with normal structures of a government within a sovereign Nigeria, the group was said to have appointed a separate leader, Baba Isa, to oversee taxation and revenue on fishing and farming activities. He was posted to Kangar in Abadam to relieve Abu Abdallah.
Farmers and traders are to pay N5,000 monthly; while fishermen will now pay N2,000 per bag of fish, amongst others. Wait for it: the Interim Council introduced Mobile Courts and some polices to harmonise all insurgents groups and activities under the leadership of ISIS. Indeed, the group set up a Judiciary and appointed Ibn Umar as Chief Prosecutor. Abu Umama becomes the Amir of Tudun Wulgo, while Muhammed Maina is Commander of Sabon Tumbu. Yet, in the midst of this apparent descent into a failed state where non-state actors have subdued a legitimate and elected government, the same Government (through its spokesperson, SSA to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu), is “celebrating” and “congratulating” itself for its alleged “recent successes of security and intelligence agencies”? Do you know what these successes are? One, being handed over on a platter of gold, IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who had actually been literally kidnapped by Kenyan authorities.
Two, the invasion in a most crude and Gestapo-like fashion, the quiet and peaceful house of Sunday Igboho, the Yoruba self-determination leader, whom the government termed a “militant ethnic sessionist”.
Then, the same spokesman boasted that any AK-47 wielding persons should be dealt with, since “assault weapons are not tools of peace loving people and as such, regardless of who they are and where they are from, the security Agencies should treat them all the same”.
Mr shehu, Nigerians have heard you loud and clear. Let charity begin at home. Let your government, with the same dexterity and alacrity, now go after the Boko Haram/ISWAP, who are not only carrying AK-47 riffles, but have actually challenged your government’s legitimacy and sovereignty, by setting up an alternate government in some parts of Nigeria.
This government must stop pursuing butterflies while Nigeria’s entire edifice is on fire. It is incredible to behold this government beating its chest over the DSS’s crude invasion of the house of a citizen (as they did Supreme Court Judges on October 8, 2016). They did this without any prior notice, invitation, or bench warrant; killed some people in the process; and wasted some pussy cats. They even believed the biggest one amongst the cats must be Igboho, who had supernaturally “transformed” into the cat.
For that reason, the cat, rather than being killed like others, was captured alive, arrested and detained. What a funny government! Nigerians are still waiting to know the outcome of the cat’s “interrogation” after DSS’s “investigations”!
How did we have this free fall into a despicable state of nadir?The last time I checked, none of the rallies so far organized by Sunday Igboho in his campaign for the Yoruba nation has ever turned violent. Nor has he been implicated in illegal activities. Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive; impart information without interference”. Section 40 provides “every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons”.
This government swore to defend the Constitution.Nnamdi Kanu on the other hand, had escaped abroad from Nigeria when his house in Afaraukwu, umuahia, Abia State, was savagely invaded by men of the Nigerian Army on September 14, 2017, killing many defenceless and unarmed citizens suspected to be IPOB sympathisers. He was then on court’s bail over allegations of treasonable felony. The Army’s tendentious defence was that it was on a military exercise in the South East, tagged “Operation Python Dance 2”. This python appears only to selectively “dance” in the South East, South West and Middle Belt. Criminal elements and even the 3rd and 4th declared most dangerous terrorist groups in the world (ISWAP and Boko Haram) are exempted from this dance. What a country!
MY EARLIER INTERVENTION ON THESEI had earlier stringently decried the failed kidnap attempt on Sunday Igboho on 28th February, 2021, and 9th March, 2021. See (https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/03/09/when-will-nigeria-be-finally-abducted/) 1st March, 2021 (https://tell.ng/that-failed-kidnap-attempt-on-sunday-igboho/).
In my said write-up, I had said, inter alia:
“The act of a combined team of soldiers, DSS and Police, numbering about 40 attempting to arrest and detain Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo Igboho was too much in the form of a kidnap attempt. Igboho was said to have been waylaid along Ibadan/Lagos Expressway whilst on his way to see Pa Ayo Adebanjo in Lagos. It was totally and absolutely unnecessary. A government exists to protect its citizens, not to terrorise them. If the government believed that Sunday Igboho had committed an offence, the best route would have been to simply send him an invitation to report to a Police station for interrogation.
“If the security agents felt there were any internal security issues or breach of the law, they should have invited him to the DSS or Police office. It became therefore totally absurd that a whole security armada like soldiers, the Police and the DSS will waylay an innocent Nigerian citizen in a commando-like manner and attempt to abduct him. At least, Nigerians have not been told he has committed an offence, or what offence, if any.
“What if Sunday Igboho and his handlers had felt they were being kidnapped and responded with a shootout? There would have been unnecessary mayhem and loss of lives because of the indecent and incongruous manner and way the attempted arrest was carried out.
“What the government does not still seem to understand is that because it has failed to give security and welfare to the Nigerian people as provided for in Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, ethnic nationalism is fast rising in a way that ethnic groups and the various nationalities in the Nigerian contraption have begun to feel that they need to go the extra mile to protect themselves from ravaging insecurity. That is why I always ask, who is advising this government?
“The present ravaging insecurity is what led to the emergence of Amotekun, in the South West and the Eastern Security Network in the South East. There have also mushroomed various local policing militias across the country. It is the failure of the government to provide security that is at the root cause of these defensive measures.
“Someone needs to drum it to the ears of this government that the young man with a tattooed face that proudly displays his tribal marks is no longer an ordinary “small boy” representing himself alone. He has become a metaphor for the Yoruba struggle for self-determination. At least, if you are not giving us self-determination, do not kill us in our homes and farms, the young man seems to be yearning on behalf of the Yoruba race.“Sunday Igboho is no longer ordinary.
He is the equivalent of IPOB’s Nnamdi Kanu for the Igbos. He came out from nowhere to become the voice of the voiceless. He wears the new face of the Yoruba struggle for emancipation. The earlier this government understands this, the better for everybody…”
“This government is too jerky. It embraces too much fire brigade approach to issues. That is the danger in it. The government must know that if they had killed Sunday Igboho yesterday, may be with a stray bullet, or by mistake, or deliberately, I don’t think Nigeria would have been having a nice weekend today.The government should understand this. Let them understand that there is anger, despondency. There is fear across the country; fear of death, fear of fear. So, they (the DSS and the Police) should never attempt to do what they did yesterday (Friday) so as not to trigger unnecessary national hoopla, national insurrection, national commotion, and national brouhaha. I have said my own.”
CRACK YOUR RIBS
“Na lack of trust make us de write exam… if not u teach and ask do I understand, I said yes so wetin carry exam come again” – Anonymous.
“If you’re living in Nigeria and your BP is normal, you’re not normal” – Anonymous.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” (Hubert H. Humphrey).
LAST LINEGod bless my numerous global readers for always keeping fate with the Sermon on the Mount of the Nigerian Project, by humble me, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb., LL.M, Ph.D, LL.D. kindly, come with me to next week’s exciting dissertation.
*Chief Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb., LL.M, Ph.D, LL.D, lives in Abuja.