It is no longer news that Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho took up the challenge to defend his people in Ibarapa, Oyo State from the threat posed by herders. What is news is that he has abandoned the fight halfway and he is no longer interested in leading the South-West in their quest to rid themselves of the herdsmen menace.
Initially, Igboho cried out that his account had been frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria, then he declared that he will no longer speak to the media as he had appointed a spokesman.
It came as a shock when the news from the camp of the Ibarapa strong man on Thursday, 18th February, 2021 informed that he was giving up the fight.
In separate interviews with DAILY POST on the development, some political watchers and analysts bared their minds.
Comrade Waheed Lawal, the Chairman of Osun Civil Societies Coalition revealed that the declaration by Sunday Igboho that he is no longer fighting the herdsmen on behalf of the Yoruba did not surprise him in any way because he began the fight as an emergency activist and as one who may not have understood the rudiments of standing up for others.
He said, “Before we can answer the question of what could have informed his decision to declare he was no longer interested in fighting for the Yoruba cause against the Fulani herdsmen, there are important questions and pertinent facts that we should put into consideration.
“We should ask ourselves who are the Yoruba heroes and people of influence that should have ordinarily taken action on behalf of the South-West? Why exactly did they shy away from doing so? What made Sunday Igboho to pick up the fight against the Fulani herdsmen on behalf of the Yoruba race at first? Has the reason that prompted him to stand up and fight at first died off? Or did he get terrified of the social castigations that came his way along the line?
“An important fact of this matter remains that Sunday Igboho became an emergency activist as a matter of urgency and necessity that came alongside with the Fulani herdsmen clashes. While I commend Igboho’s decision to stand up and fight for his people when no one was willing to, I must also say that there are many others that can fight for the honour of the Yoruba if he had not come into the picture.”
He added that what informed his decision to quit was best known to him but strongly believes that the South-West will surely be defended against unlawful invaders.
Also speaking, Murtala Agboola, said Igboho was the only person fighting for the Yoruba, a development which should not be so.
To him, given the level of wanton killing of innocent people recently in the South-West, the people ought to have met to take a definite stand.
“What is the role of Aare Gani Adams? His people may have talked to him to soft-pedal, otherwise he may be used as a scapegoat by those in authority. I personally think his withdrawal is strategic. I may be wrong.”
Ayo Ologun is of the opinion that the action of Sunday Adeyemi and his recent decision cannot be unconnected with the fact that the people and places he expected to get support from were not forthcoming.
Ologun said that, “the fact remains that Igboho’s name has been written in gold. He stood up for a race when others developed cold feet.
“In my opinion, the recent attempt by the federal government to clip his wings by freezing his bank account and without support from notable individuals standing up for him at such a time might have been responsible for his decision to slow down.”
For Waheed Saka, Convener Dialogue 365, “Sunday Igboho’s choice of discontinuing his fight against Fulani herdsmen on behalf of the Yoruba is fundamentally his choice. There is nowhere he was appointed by the Yoruba in such a role ab-initio.”
He noted that the security challenges in Nigeria and the killer herdsmen menace in the South-West can never be erased by a mob approach but by the painstaking collective effort of all Yoruba sons and daughters.
Saka maintained that the effort is not a messianic or one man struggle for self-determination and that any attempt at ethnic profiling of a particular group will further endanger the region and complicate the security of the region and by extension the country.
He added that Sunday Igboho is a hero thrown up by circumstances and this was not the time to question the rationale behind his quitting.
On his part, a communications expert, Ismaeel Uthman stated that, “Igboho’s action might be as a result of lack of encouragement from the Yoruba political leaders and the traditional rulers in particular. He might also have reviewed his ‘struggle’ and discovered that he can’t win the war against the herdsmen whose leaders have obviously compromised the top echelon of Nigeria security agencies.
“Another point is that, Igboho can’t win the battle alone. He had taken a bold step which other people from the South-West, particularly the traditional rulers should support, but reverse is the case. So, what is the essence of going into a battle that you already know you cannot win?
“If you follow the trend when it started, Igboho won the hearts of some Yorubas by chasing out the Fulani herdsmen in Igangan, but the support began to drop when the warlord went to Ogun State for the same purpose. People started to warn him that he should take things easy. The words of encouragement began to drop. People started coming up with constitutional issues. In that wise, he could not do anything than to back down. I think he has taken a wise decision. When the time comes, no one will tell anyone to stand in defence of their land. It is just a matter of time,” he added.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State described Igboho as a child of circumstances and it was after Igboho took up the challenge that the Aare Ona Kakanfo, Chief Gani Adams took the decision to speak out.
Recently, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani Kayode visited Sunday Igboho at his Ibadan residence. During the visit, Igboho made the former minister to understand that his decision to quit was due to betrayal.
DAILY POST recalls that before the emergence of Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, political, religious and influential leaders in the South-West were quiet on the menace of herdsmen in the region, a situation which brought him into conflict with His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II.
The misunderstanding was later settled after the intervention of prominent Yoruba leaders and the Ooni later said he had forgiven him.
DAILY POST had also reported that a security expert and risk consultant, Mr. Onyekachi Adekoya stated that the comment of Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd.) on the Kagara school abduction, that every Nigerian should defend themselves had further justified Igboho’s actions.