Scores of supporters of Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, his mother and allies have visited Igboho town to offer prayer to ‘nullify’ the effect of the visit of a cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, to the town.
Gumi was reportedly seen in a video clip on September 7, during his visit to Igboho town, standing with Usman Yusuf, a former chief executive officer of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) near a signboard that reads ‘Muslim Grammar School, Modeke, Igboho’ in the hometown of embattled Igboho,
Speaking during the visit, the cleric said with what he had seen, there was no need for any group to seek secession.
“Today, we visited this town, Igboho. We found this Muslim community and we can see some cattle grazing in their courtyard. This is a place where I think Nigerians need to understand that we need to live together. I’ve seen nothing here that can warrant people to agitate that they should be separated from our beloved country, Nigeria,” Gumi said.
The visit has been trailed by criticism from many Yoruba leaders, including the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams.
One of the Yoruba Nation agitators, Sheikh Abdul Raheem Aduanigba, who is the Chief Imam of Yoruba in Ilorin, led other leaders to Igboho town and together with the mother of Sunday Igboho visited the spot where Gumi shot a video during his stay in the town.
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Aduranigba, in an interview with PUNCH correspondent, confirmed that he and others, including Igboho’s mum, went to Muslim Grammar School in the Modeke area of Igboho on Friday evening, adding that residents of the town said Gumi’s visit did not enjoy their blessing.
He said, “Yoruba people are worried about Gumi’s visit to Igboho and I went to Igboho town with some other persons to find out what really happened. I visited the Kabiyesi, Onigboho of Igboho (Oba John Bolarinwa) and he told me that nobody gave Gumi land in the town.
“The people of the town also said they didn’t know when he came and they said he must not come again. He is the spokesperson for bandits. They (residents) did not want him to ever come to their town again.
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“We don’t want what happened in Igangan to happen in Igboho or anywhere in Yorubaland. The people of Igboho said they don’t want him and that he must never come there again. We don’t want bandits here, we don’t want him to use religion to deceive our people and we were happy that nobody gave him land there.”
He added that;
“Igboho did not look at his wealth, he spent so much. He took care of everyone including Muslims.
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“We pray for Igboho to be successfully released. God will make Igboho come back home safely and meet his mother. God kept Igboho safe to grant him long life. There is no peace in Nigeria. We have to be vigilant in Nigeria.”
One of Igboho’s allies, Alhaji Yusuf Saheed popularly called Ajikobi 1 said: “He (Gumi) just came here unaware, and used about 3-minutes. Igboho is a strong man, even despite the government intimidation, he still remains unruffled.”
The National Coordinator of the Yoruba Youth Socio-Cultural Association Worldwide, Olalekan Hammed, in a separate interview said that that Gumi was not wanted in any part of Yorubaland because of his association with bandits.
Hammed said Gumi had an ulterior motive and that the visit must be investigated by security agencies.
He said, “There is no relationship between Sunday Igboho and Gumi and that is why his visit to Igboho town made people curious. Gumi has an ulterior motive for the visit and security agencies must probe this and make this known to the public.
We do not want Gumi and his bandits in Igboho or in any part of Yorubaland. We have to be vigilant to prevent him and his likes from importing bandits into this region.”
Gumi’s visit to Igboho a misadventure says Yoruba group
In a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Tunde Ipinmisho, Yoruba group, Yoruba Leadership and Peace Initiative (TYLPI) said Gumi’s self assigned role of mediator in the security crisis in the north western parts of Nigeria was suspect and had not yielded any tangible outcome.
The group said nothing was heard from Gumi, by way of open condemnation of the savage murder of scores of the people of Igangan, Oyo State by so called gunmen, for doing nothing other than to proclaim the ownership of their ancestral land.
It said it was the carnage that made the incarcerated Igboho to rise in defence of the hapless people of the troubled community and other parts of Yorubaland.
“By his visit to Igboho town, Gumi has exposed himself as a busy body who would exploit any situation to draw public attention to himself and his ignoble mission,” TYLPI said in the statement.
The group said any attempt by the likes of Gumi to hide behind the cloak of religion to divide the Yoruba or deny the well known acts of terrorism by Fulani herdsmen in parts of Yorubaland would fail.
It expressed surprise that the likes of Gumi who had been openly fraternizing with terrorists and criminal gangs in the northern parts of the country were walking freely around while innocent persons in other parts of the country were being hounded to jail for offences that were largely unknown to the nation’s laws.
”While the Yoruba are by nature welcoming and accommodating to visitors, those like Gumi coming with sinister agenda, should desist from making such forays into places where people have been traumatized.”
Meanwhile, the Muslim cleric said that the ongoing military operations in the northwest against terrorists are not having the desired impact because the targets often escape unhurt.
Gumi, writing on his Facebook wall, claimed that many innocent people end up as victims of the operations.
“What you may not hear is that the bandits, over the years, have developed escape routes from aerial bombardments. They told us: you can only kill our women and children with your attacks,” he said.
He said, ”Just yesterday, two contingents of banditry victims came to me that their loved ones were abducted by bandits in Kaduna suburbs – Rigachukun and Keke. An escapee engineer said when he overheard and understood that they (bandits) were strangers in the area as they were calling the locals to lead them, that gave him the courage to slip through densely grown maize plantations to escape.
“The point is that, if Zamfara is on fire for them, definitely it goes without saying that they will migrate to other areas. So, is the whole of Nigeria going to be under lock-up, incommunicado?”
Gumi made a fresh call for amnesty for the gunmen because ”war has never been the solution anywhere anytime.”
He dismissed criticism of his alleged sympathy for the terrorists, saying: “I am a qualified Medical Doctor who knows what it takes to precisely excise a brain tumour without destroying the delicate surrounding brain tissues.
“I was a commissioned military officer who knows what the military is for and what is the capability of our military. I am an intellectual with a Ph.D. from abroad. I am an Islamic scholar who knows the immorality of killing innocent lives. So, silence for me in this ocean of oblivion is not an option.
“A sensible person would not allow his dwelling to be a theatre of war. Killing rats in your rat-infested sitting room with an iron rod will only end up destroying your gadgets and furniture probably without killing any. We should not mask out poor governance with artillery power.”
”My mission has not failed but it was sabotaged or discouraged by the same influential people that benefit from the chaos and would like us to destroy ourselves and leave the herdsmen in perpetual ignorance.
”Some said we have tried amnesty but it didn’t work. You didn’t try amnesty but tried amnesia. Amnesty without rehabilitation, reconciliation, and reparation is no amnesty. Ask the former Niger Delta Militants who killed security men in the past what an amnesty is. What stops us from having a Federal Ministry of Nomadic Affairs where their grievances and complaints will be addressed?
“All the bandit leaders we saw complained of how some repentant ones were picked and extra-judicially killed after the surrender of their weapons. Without their trust of the very unjust system all Nigerians complain of, which they took arms to fight, peace and negotiations with them will not work. This brings our role of mediation.
“They (bandits) know as religious men we will not deceive them, and they came out in troops to meet us. To our astonishment, it is the same unjust system that turns round to betray our peace mission. Some of the press for giving a negative narrative, whom I also term criminals-in-purpose.
“Some of the politicians who I see as urban-bandits who, out of their share mismanagement of our meagre resources and misplacement of priority, cause the death and infirmity of more people than the bandits affect.”
Yoruba Nation campaigners set to resume rally in Sunday Igboho’s hometown
Meanwhile, agitators for the Yoruba Nation have announced plans to resume their protest on Saturday, September 11.
The rally is based on solidarity and support for embattled Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Igboho who is currently in detention in Cotonou.
Igboho’s spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a broadcast disclosed that the rally would take place at the hometown of his embattled principal.
Sunday Igboho is from Aladikun compound in Modeke, Igboho, Oyo State. The 48-year-old agitator who was first detained at the Brigade économique et financière (BEF), is currently at Prison Civile de Cotonou — Cotonou Civil Prison.
In the last judgment, the Cour De’appal De Cotonou ordered that Igboho should be kept in prison custody.
Koiki said, “Yoruba Nation Rally will be happening in the town of our Father, Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho Oosa – Date: 11th of September 2021 – Time: 10:00am Host: Gbogbo Omo Yoruba Agbaye”
A community leader in Igboho has, however, advised the group to shelve the purported visit.
In a telephone interview with The Nation, the community leader who craved anonymity said the group had been told not to come for the rally in Igboho.
He warned that some of pro-Yoruba Nation bloggers by their activities are attracting enemies to the group due to their reckless statements, warning that it could jeopardise the interest of the group if care is not taken. “what they do is to attack Yoruba leaders and traditional rulers.”
While admitting that the group sent a delegation to Igboho town, he disclosed that the people of the town made it known to them that they should shelve the visit.
“What are we going to benefit from the visit? Sunday Igboho is in Cotonou and they have not been able to do anything about it. One of the boys whose dead body was taken away after being killed, nobody has been able to do anything about it.”
He said their visit would foul the peace the town is currently enjoying.
He disclosed that many Yoruba traditional rulers have distanced themselves from the group because some members of the group are unruly.
“The Yoruba Nation agitators are not welcomed in the town right now because the atmosphere is not conducive for such a visit.
“The Igboho people have told the group not to come and that they would not be entertained.
“The people of the town are not happy right now because of what recently happened to us. The problem is too big for the town right now and it does not have the strength to shoulder it,” the community leader said.
He warned that if the group insists on coming to Igboho, the Yoruba Nation agitators should be ready to bear the consequence of their visit if confronted by the people of the town.”