Hoodlums Set Sunday Igboho House On Fire
The issue of herdsmen in the country is not at its peak. Every media outlet both print and the broadcast media even the new age media (social media) had something to say about it this week. Last week it was the news that the governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu where he banned night grazing, under-age grazing, and within the cities and herdsmen moving out of the forest reserves. The presidency showed a displeased response to this. The state government replied and cleared it out that they were not ordering the herdsmen to leave the reserves they only said the herders who are not registered should leave the country reserves.
This issue with the herdsmen is not only an issue in Ondo state, but Ekiti state was also on the news this week about herders who went to destroy a farm along Ado-Ijan Road in Ado Ekiti. Some herdsmen in Ekiti were accused by the Maize Growers Processing Marketer Association of Nigeria for damaging a multi-million-naira farm. The interesting thing about this is that the farmers sourced N60.8m from the central bank of Nigeria in order to cultivate the maize farm. This is an incredibly sad one, the profit on the farm was projected as N410m. It was also reported that they invaded the farm with weapons and fed their cows with the farmer’s plant.
They tried to stop them, but all effort was unsuccessful. How will herders possess weapons in the first place? This is becoming a serious issue and the federal government needs to attend and intervene in this. However, Brig-Gen Komolafe (retd), the Ekiti Amotekun Corps commander said the group is handling the situation. The state governor, Kayode Fayemi also made an action call by inaugurating a body which was named Ekiti State Farmers-Herders Peace Committee to promote and enhance co-existence among nationalities in the state.
Ekiti is not the only one struggling with this, the highlight for the week is the story of Mr Sunday Adeyemi Igboho. Sunday Igboho is not a politician, he is not a traditional ruler, he is an Oyo indigen who will not sit and watch the herdsmen destroy the city by taking over their farms, kidnapping and raping their women. Igboho allegedly told the herders to leave the state after all they have done in the Ibarapa area od Oyo state over killings, rape, kidnaps and other violent activities. The days he gave to them expired and then held a rally in the herder’s community. A report had it that some of the properties of the herders were tampered with.
On Tuesday, the 26th of January, it was reported Sunday Igboho’s house was set ablaze by some unidentified hoodlums who attacked his house in Ibadan. Speaking to the media after the incident, Igboho said that he is surprised that his fellow Yoruba people could stand against him. This man is not even asking for anything overboard. He is calling that the people come together to fight against the high rate of insecurity in the state.
So many have been comparing Sunday Igboho with Nnamdi Kanu, they are not the same, he is not calling for Nigeria breakup he is calling for togetherness to tackle the killings, kidnappings and all that has been happening in the state and as he said, he is surprised that some Yoruba people will be against him. He is an activist who would not sit and watch things go bad and do nothing. Most people have embraced the attitude of folding hands when things are happening around them because they cannot feel the heat, they can only hear about it. This man can see and hear all of it because it is happening under his nose.
He must have anticipated this backfire of his house been burnt because this is what a leader should anticipate. Some social media users mentioned that this is why the #EndSars protest did not have a face or leader to it because such a person would have ended up like Igboho. Without the protest having a face, some of those who fully participated in the protest were threatened, some arrested. Igboho is known as a powerful man, he mentioned while talking to the press that if the attackers were bold enough, they should have attacked where he stays. By so doing, the press would have met them dead or injured.
This is not a call for disunity because as the stories and cases are unfolding, it might generate into a war between the southerners and the northerners and that is not what we want. What we are clamouring for is peace and a safe space for citizens to live.
Igboho’s agitation did not fall on deaf ears, it generated a call among the south-west leaders who had a meeting with the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN). The meeting took place Monday where Kayode Fayemi, the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum stressed that no one had sent anyone away from any state or region, but everyone must work together to fight criminality in Nigeria.
It has been recorded in Ondo state that the herdsmen have been moving out of the forest reserves in compliance with the order of the governor. He ordered that the herders who are not registered leave the forest reserves. It was recorded that herders have shown interest in the registration. That is good, if they want to register then that is awesome but those who do not want to register should leave the state and should be followed up because they might have hidden agendas.
The news had it that the government wants Sunday Igboho arrested but the question here is for what? On what basis do they want to hang the arrest on. This is just going to promote the “look away” attitude in Nigerians. They will fold their hands and look away not because they do not want to act but because they fear the consequences of their action from the government. This should not shut the patriotic spirit in Nigerians, they should stand and agitate for Peace in the right way and we believe that Nigeria will flourish again.