I don’t know how long it may take to heal and restore this battered country, otherwise, the damage and division deepened by Buhari government may eventually wipe Nigeria out of existence.
Sunday Adeyemo-Igboho is under attacks not because he’s championing the cause of Yoruba Nation but for daring to challenge and successfully curtailed further intrusion, invasion and onslaughts by marauding Fulani herdsmen in their criminal quest to conquer and dominate Yoruba land. Any other excuses or reasons are mere adjuncts.
Igboho had led successful rallies in other five states of the southwest. No reports of violence or assaults. There was no hijacking by hoodlums or political thugs. The previous rallies were peacefully organised and conducted. Therefore, trying to make Lagos look like an exception is uncalled for.
In the week preceding the rally, there were information circulating in some quarters that the rally would not be allowed to hold in Lagos. The government and the political leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, were said to have informed the police not to fold its arms and watch the Yoruba Nation agitators have their day. Originally, the Lagos Police Command was not interested in stopping the rally as it has no basis to do so. There was no signal from Abuja against the rally and CP Hakeem Odumosu was prepared to provide security for the event (which he actually confessed to the media at Ojota venue of the rally) but the political chieftains and the paramount “owners” of Lagos would not want to tolerate it at all. Using the #EndSARS protest as alibi did not add up.
For once, I want to advise Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (Rtd.) and his speech writers to stop feeding us with lies each time they refer to the #EndSARS issue. The truth that cannot be controverted is that #EndSARS remains the most peaceful and well organised protest in the history of Nigeria by the great Nigerian youths. When the protest entered the second week, Buhari and his team became jittery and restless as prolonged protest could collapse the existing political structure which may lead to unpremeditated revolution or military takeover. It was due to this unfounded and imaginary fear that necessitated their errand boys to recruit irate youths to cause mayhem.
In Abuja, we saw video clips on social media where barefooted almajiris were chasing protesters with sticks and setting cars, shops and structures on fire to blackmail the protest. The irate youths brought in Prado Jeeps were being directed by some guys in black suits. In Lagos, while the hooligans could not disrupt the rally centres at Lekki, Alausa, Ikeja under bridge and Gbagada, they started operating from Orile Iganmu axis down to Surulere toward Mushin and Oshodi. That was all government needed to tag the protest “hijacked.” For the umpteenth time, #EndSARS protest was NEVER hijacked nor disrupted. It was government-sponsored thugs that caused violence in other parts of the cities in order to provide the much needed ground to crush the protest. However, hell was let loose when soldiers came and gunned down peaceful protesters at Lekki venue. It was in wild reactions to the dastardly act that led to the violence witnessed in Lagos. Therefore, governors, security agencies, Lai Mohammed, Buhari and his speech writers must always put it in proper context whenever they make reference to the #EndSARS protest. When their political campaign is disrupted by thugs, they don’t say the campaign is hijacked. Therefore, the negative connotation of peaceful #EndSARS protest must stop.
Back to Sunday Igboho, I rarely blame the state security operatives for the fact that they operate under command structures. They have no choice whenever they’re commandeered to do anything in the “interest” or for the “security” of the state. It is a different matter whether the assignment is legal or not. The attitudes of security agencies are the reflections of the government at the centre. Buhari-led APC’s government is temperamental, hostile and intolerant of criticisms and opposition. It acts as if it is a despotic military administration. One thing I like about this one-sided government is that it does not pretend about its sinister agenda at all.
Its Fulanisation agenda is not in doubt. This is the first time the presidency will be defending a private business interest even at the expense of national cohesion, unity and peace. This is the first government that its defence minister and presidential spokesman will publicly defend killings in Benue on the pretext that grazing routes had been taken over by the state government. This is the first time a federal government was trying to arm-twist states to provide lands for Fulani herders in the form of Ruga settlements. When it was resisted, it came up with a bill to acquire river banks across the country for this same purpose. I still can’t understand the vested interest of the federal government in an ethnic business interest far and above the corporate interest of the entire nation. Let’s not even mention its lopsided appointments. Even the PIB bill passed some days ago is a big fraud as well as an economic coup d’etat against the south. I don’t see how this country will progress under this uneven arrangement. All these anomalies put together simply justify and legitimise the growing agitation for self-determination by other ethnic groups across the land. It is internal colonisation per excellence.
That Sunday Igboho had the temerity to confront killer herdsmen is an offence the ruling Fulani cabal has sworn to visit on him. That he dared to chase them away is an unpardonable offence. Unknowingly, Buhari administration is toughening people’s resolve to consciously resist continued subjugation and reject further exploitation of economic resources of the other parts of the country. Vowing to reclaim non-existent grazing routes and reserves remains a brazen clannish pursuit ever undertaken by any government. They no longer pretend about their determination to forcefully take over lands for Fulani people using animal husbandry as a ploy. This government should know that this idea is dead on arrival. Other ethnic groups are also prepared to defend their ancestral homelands.
I don’t know how long it may take to heal and restore this battered country, otherwise, the damage and division deepened by Buhari government may eventually wipe Nigeria out of existence. Anyway, thanks to Gen. Buhari for showing his hands early enough. His cronyism and clannish style of administration has really fired up the flame and passion for self-determination. Today, every oppressed part of Nigeria is clamouring either for restructuring (which Buhari has pointedly said “there’s nothing to restructure in Nigeria”) or self-determination to become independent states out of the existing structure.
It is sheer wickedness and act of impunity for state security service men to swoop on a citizen’s residence in the dead of the night to kill and vandalise his property. Did they go to arrest Igboho or to destroy his house and vehicles? What has shooting and smashing his cars got to do with arrest? It is customary of Fulani marauders to embark on wanton destruction and killings whenever they attack any persons or settlement. The operation was not civil at all. I doubt if the few guys they met at Igboho’s place engaged them in a gun duel, otherwise, at least one or two security agents would have been killed. Photographs of previously displayed guns and items surfaced on the internet last week to debunk the DSS’ claims that it actually evacuated the displayed arms at Igboho’s place.
Likewise, a female voice note in circulation alleging that some Yoruba elders were suspected to have orchestrated the attack is not necessary at this time. Obviously the operation had a hand of an insider but that is immaterial at the moment. To the best of my knowledge, except those eyeing political offices in 2023, Yoruba Nation agenda is well received and supported by most Yoruba leaders across board. That they’re not talking does not imply opposition. Therefore, such insinuations should not be allowed to pitch us against ourselves.
No force can stop Yoruba Nation agitation. It is an idea whose time has come. Given the way a section of the country is holding every sensitive and security position to rule and dominate the rest, there will be “no retreat, no surrender” on growing agitation for self-determination which is legitimate and legal. That was why I felt disappointed in CP Odumosu who earlier claimed that his men came to provide security for the protesters, yet, people were being teargassed and dispersed while 49 of them were arrested. Claiming that they found weapons on them is suspect because those guys were arrested in the open. They were being chased about before they were nabbed. In fact, some passers-by were erroneously arrested as members of Yoruba Nation agitators. The Police, DSS and other security agencies should not frame up innocent citizens. It is a sin against God and humanity.
If the deductions of some informed people are to be true, the invasion and gruesome killings at Igboho’s place might be a veiled reprisal. However, it is unpatriotic to deploy state security forces to advance ethnic agenda because the nomads themselves cannot withstand any ethnic group in battle without the backing of Buhari government. Soon, the siege will be over.
- West wrote via firstname.lastname@example.org