On many occasions, he has publicly challenged some decisions of the Osun State Government, most especially the recent constitution of a caretaker committee for local government council areas, a decision he views as illegal and unconstitutional.
In this interview with Blaze Newz Francis Ezediuno, he talks about the recent arrest of Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, and the implications it has on peace in Nigeria and the cause for self-determination he has embarked upon
Yes. It is so clear we are Nigerians and we must accept the fact that we are Nigerians and we have our rights. When you look at the agitations of these two persons, both are agitating for secession which is their right to ask for.
It is quite unfortunate the way the government is handling it. It seems they too have an agenda. In my opinion, their arrests and the treatment they are subjected to are against their fundamental human rights.
Is this government nepotistic in their handling of bandits and insurgents up North and agitators down South?
The problem of Nigeria as a nation is that over the years, we have always been solving our problems from the head without us going down to the foundation and to the roots. This is what has led us to where we are today.
Over the years, most especially since Buhari became the president of Nigeria in 2015, every Nigerian has been complaining about the security challenges which the government of Nigeria has not been able to proffer any solution to. Imagine a situation where the Nigerian government is giving terrorists amnesty, rehabilitating them, and in a nation where justice is not distributed equally, a situation where injustice has taken over the system, these are the types of things we will continue to see.
A government that cannot fight terrorism, a government paying ransom to terrorists, that same government wants to start holding agitators who are demanding for a nation of their own. People cannot believe in a nation where the leaders are not fair in decision-making and distribution of justice to everybody.
If the Buhari administration has been fair in terms of dealing with these bandits, dealing with them decisively, and punishing them for every crime they have committed, we will have seen people making a change. Then what are we looking up to? We would have seen people making a change. If some set of people have come out and agitating for a nation where our lives and property will be secured, there is a need to give justification to it because the government on its own has failed on its part to do the right thing.
A government that could not tackle insurgency once and for all cannot be categorising agitators as offenders of the law in Nigeria.
Which type of message do the agitations following the arrest of Sunday Igboho send to those in authority?
If those in authority are very wise and their eyes are open to the realities that we are in a democratic system of government and the beautiful thing about democracy is that it is a game of numbers and of the people. The people decide because it is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is about the people. It is about the masses.
If the masses are still regaining their consciousness despite the attack on Sunday Igboho’s house and the attack on his person and at the moment, we can still find Nigerians that are still insisting that they want him released and they are still clamouring for a Yoruba Nation of their desire, then it is sending a signal to the government that they have failed the people and that is why the people have lost confidence in the present leadership of the country.
My advice to the Nigerian government is to tread with caution and if they do not do so, it is going to bring about a crisis because people will continue to embark on protests and the Nigerian government will be forced to begin to harass them and as a result of that, we are going to continue to lose more hands, more lives and property.
I am advising the government to tread with caution and seek a way to resolve the crisis at hand. If those in the South West part of the country are presently demanding for a Yoruba Nation, the South East is demanding for Biafra and the North is clamouring for Arewa and if some other regions are making demands, then the government of the day must understand that they have failed the people and they have to think of what to do.
If Buhari had restructured the country since 2015, Nigeria would have by now been a better place because each region would have stabilized and understand how much they would be sending to the central government. If Nigeria as a nation is not restructured, we cannot have a better society than what we are having today.
How do you see the intervention of Professor Banji Akintoy-led Ilana Oodua in Sunday Igboho’s dilemma?
Ken Saro Wiwa said, “You can only kill the messenger, you cannot kill the message”. It is simple. Even if they take away Sunday Igboho today, another Sunday Igboho will come up, but like I always tell people, Sunday Igboho is just a figure that is only serving as a face of the struggle. Those that are behind are those that have the intellectual capacity of what a nation should look like.
So if people like Professor Banji Akintoye have come out with a plan, I believe he would have obtained enough knowledge that will be capable of driving a nation. I must reiterate that Sunday Igboho is just a figure amid the thousands that are still out there. If anything untoward happens to him, more of his type will still be coming up and we will still continue to experience these things because people on the street are suffering, people have lost confidence in the government, there is no job and when you look at the majority that are following Sunday Igboho, you are going to discover that these are the set of people that have lost hope in Nigeria, hope in themselves and lost the fact that there is a future for them somewhere because they have lost everything in life and every hope for a better existence and they want to live a better life. This is why they have pitched their tents with Sunday Igboho and demanding for a nation which they desire.
Unless the present leaders come to their senses and do the people’s will, that is when these crises can be resolved.
Is Sunday Igboho an agitator, a human rights activist or someone who just seized the opportunity to align himself with the pulse of the moment?
The fact is that we are all a product of history and we understand the role of Sunday Igboho during the Ife-Modakeke crisis. From there, he became a political thug to former governor, Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State.
That is the true picture of our politicians, they are always attached to a thug which they use as their own instrument to win elections. That has been Sunday Igboho’s life, a thug and warlord all his life.
All he wanted to do was to prevent the Fulani herdsmen from killing his people in Ibarapa. It was when the government failed in giving the required support in protecting the people of Ibarapa, he now changed the tone of his agitations to demanding for a Yoruba Nation.
No government should think that they can ever do things on their own without carrying the people along. That has been part of the challenges of the present government. When the issue of Sunday Igboho and Ibarapa came up, the government would have intervened and set up a committee to forestall further crisis in Ibarapa land.
This type of unfairness and impunity going on in the country will never make people to have confidence in the leadership.
Sunday Igboho is a human rights activists in as much as he is demanding for a society that will be conducive for everybody to live but he may not have the required intellectual capacity or how to address issues, we must now begin to understand that the level of education matters in whatever we are doing.
Come 2023 and President Muhammadu Buhari handing over, will that bring an end to violence by insurgents and bandits?
The fact is that, if we do not use the little time we have now to look for a lasting solution to these problems, we will always have crises.
If we do not immediately address the problem from the foundation, the only solution for Nigeria as we speak now is to begin to make move for immediate restructuring of Nigeria.
Nigeria should be restructured immediately. Resource control should come to play immediately. Every region should control their resources immediately. We should immediately start practicing true federalism.
If the country is not restructured, we are still going to continue in this crisis even after 2023
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