IBADAN – Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Igboho, has rejected classification of his movement as a threat to security in southwest Nigeria by the Nigerian Army.
The Army had on Friday reportedly classified his group as a threat to security in the region while analyzing the security situation in the country.
The Army’s director of Defence Media Operations (DMO) Maj. Gen. Edward Buba had reportedly given the classification while addressing reporters on the activities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) against insurgency between January and December 2023.
The military spokesman had claimed that security threats in various geopolitical zones differ, pointing out that the major threat in the Southwest was the Yoruba nation agitators.
However, Igboho, in a statement on Sunday, December 31, said such classification was misleading, mischievous and targeted at blackmailing a peaceful organization seeking the entrenchment of a better society and good governance.
He said it was a misleading classification aimed at giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
He restated that the agitation for Yoruba nation is lawful and constitutional, urging the military to focus on routing insurgency in Nigeria instead.
The statement read: “We are conscious of the noble efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to tackle terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities. But we take exception to the wrong and baseless position of the director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, for identifying the Yoruba nation agitators as major threat to the peace in the South West.
“This is not only far from the truth, but a flimsy excuse, which showcased the failure of the military to tackle the menace of insecurity, which threatened the peace in Nigeria, most especially during the immediate past regime of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Apart from the ignoble and vicious attacks on some states in the North, most especially in the North East, by the Boko Haram terrorists, bandits were controlling some local governments in some parts of the North during Buhari’s administration, collecting levies and other forms of revenues unhindered. The military could not do anything tangible to stop this act of threat against the territorial integrity of the nation.
“Despite colossal sums of money in foreign currencies released to the military to procure arms and ammunition, including fighter jets, our nation still remains under the siege of marauders and rampaging terrorists, killing Nigerians in thousands and turning innocent citizens to refugees in their country.
“Some parts of the South West, namely Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo were almost sacked by herdsmen, attacking farmers, killing them and raping their wives and daughters during Buhari’s administration. The security agencies failed to rein in these vicious individuals. Rather, some so-called repentant Boko Haram terrorists were granted amnesty and recruited into the Nigeria Army.
“On July 1, 2021, some agents of the Department of State Security (DSS), backed by the military invaded my residence in Ibadan to kill me in the midnight all because we were agitating for Yoruba nation peacefully. Two of my aides were brutally murdered, while others were fatally injured.
“Security agents also shot dead one of our supporters at Ojota area during a peaceful protest despite the fact that we obtained police permit. As a movement guided by laws of the land, we sued the Federal Government under Buhari on the unlawful invasion of my house and the damage caused by the DSS and secured a judgment against the government up to the Court of Appeal. This judgment, which ordered the payment of compensation running into billions of naira was not obeyed.
“Recent sad stories of the Nigeria Army deploying drones to mistakenly drop off bombs on worshippers, numbering over 85 in Tudun Biri villages of Kaduna State and the latest Christmas eve attack on some communities in Plateau State by bandits where about 200 people, mostly women and children were cruelly murdered are critical issues our military must address.
“Instead they are chasing shadows and wrongfully accusing Yoruba nation movement of threat to peace in the South West. This is just a figment of their own imagination which should not be ignored by discerning Nigerians and other relevant stakeholders.”