YORUBA traditional rulers have called for the immediate release of the aides of activist Sunday Adeyemo who were arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) during a recent raid of his Ibadan residence.
On July 1, the DSS raided Mr Adeyemo’s Ibadan home but he managed to escape and 13 of his aides were arrested and are due to be charged with various offences. Mr Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, is the leader of Yoruba Nation, a group that has vowed to stop the activities of Fulani herdsmen terrorising Yorubaland.
Following the raid during which security operatives killed two people, Mr Igboho has been declared wanted by the DSS. Reacting to the volatile situation, the traditional rulers from across the six states of the southwest geo-political zone and Kwara and Kogi states, have demanded the release of the arrested persons and compensation for the families of those killed during the raid.
Under the aegis of the Forum of Yoruba Obas, the monarchs issued a statement signed by their president, the Molokun of Atijere Kingdom in Ondo State, Oba Samuel Adeoye and their general secretary, Dr Abdulrasaq Abioye, the Olukotun of Ikotun Ile in Kwara State and 17 others. Among other things, they described the invasion of Mr Igboho’s home and killing of his aides as an infringement of their fundamental human rights.
They said: “As traditional rulers, we cannot bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich on a very sensitive issue like this which, if not well-managed, could further polarise the oneness and unity of Nigeria, considering the recent calls by prominent people in and outside the shores of Nigeria for the disintegration of Nigeria as one indissoluble and indivisible entity. We strongly condemn in its entirety the invasion and the gruesome murder of the people at Sunday Igboho’s house on July 1, 2021.
“We believe the killing by the officers of the DSS is unwarranted and unjustifiable, a violent breach of the fundamental right of those who were killed by the overzealous officers in Sunday Adeyemo’s house. We hereby call for the immediate release of those arrested at his residence and we demand that there must be an adequate compensation for the family of those people who were murdered during the operation.
“We equally, in the same vein, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to cause a discrete and holistic investigation into this volatile issue. While we as custodians of tradition and advocates of peace will not shield or encourage anyone to break the law of the land, we make bold to state that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very clear and unambiguous that the governor of the state is the chief security officer of the state and as such, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, ought to be apprised of any move to cause the arrest of anyone in Oyo State who has or is likely to cause serious security breach before such a person or group of persons can be arrested.”
On the state of the nation, the monarchs lamented that insecurity in Nigeria had reached an alarming crescendo that triggered a great concern for traditional rulers and other Nigerians, adding that with every state in Nigeria grappling with different forms of insecurity. They added that it appears that peace is gradually eluding the Nigerian state.
“There is no iota of doubt to postulate that Nigeria is currently battling its worst level of insecurity and the country has never had it this bad since the civil war which ended in 1970. Although we cannot but commend the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari towards curbing this menace of insecurity which has pervaded all sections of the country, we believe that a lot must be done to put an end to the issue of insecurity that is currently shaking the very foundation and corporate existence of Nigeria.
“Hardly can one safely postulate that there is any region in Nigeria today that is safe. The security of lives and property is one of the core responsibilities of the government and the government must do everything possible in this regard.
“We commend the giant step taken by the southwest governors to put in place a security outfit, Amotekun, which has undoubtedly assisted a great deal in curbing insecurity that we have been experiencing. It is irrefutable today that the fear of Amotekun is now the beginning of wisdom for marauders, kidnappers, armed robbers and bandits in the southwest, which is highly commendable,” the monarchs added.