Operatives of the Department of State Services carried out a midnight attack on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State, PUNCH reports.
A top security source, who pleaded anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to speak on the matter, told The PUNCH on Thursday that the secret police operated in Sunday Igboho’s residence in Ibadan on Thursday morning.
“The DSS operated in his (Sunday Igboho) house in Ibadan on Thursday morning,” the security source confided in our correspondent.
The source, however, could not give details on whether Igboho was arrested or whether any of his aides were arrested or killed during the raid.
Efforts to speak with DSS Spokesman, Peter Afunaya, proved abortive as of the time of filing this report.
However, our correspondent sent Afunaya series of text messages seeking to know whether the secret police indeed raided the Ibadan residence on Igboho.
But the DSS spokesman neither deny nor confirm the report. “Got into a meeting, will revert to you afterwards. Good afternoon,” Afunaya wrote in one of his text messages to our correspondent on Thursday.
On January 26, 2021, some faceless hoodlums reportedly attacked the Soka residence of Igboho also in Ibadan and gutted the house.
There had also been earlier reports that pandemonium broke out on February 26, 2021 along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway when Igboho and his supporters were on their way to meet with 93-year-old Afenifere chieftain, Ayo Adebanjo.
In a viral video, a shirtless Igboho was seen with his men daring security operatives and throwing expletives at the operatives identified as men of the Department of State Services but the attempt failed and the DSS subsequently denied the attempted arrest.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had also said the then Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, ordered the arrest of the rights activist but many Nigerians had condemned such move, insisting that the security agencies should instead summon popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who has been seen hobnobbing with bandits in the forests of Zamfara and Niger States of late.
Meanwhile, the activist’s spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, has said two persons were killed during Thursday’s early morning raid while several others were injured.
“The situation now is very bad. Two Yoruba sons have been killed in the house of Chief Sunday Igboho. The two dead bodies have been taken away by the military. We do not know of the location where they were taken to,” the aide said in a Facebook Live.
Koiki, who said the house was attacked around 1am on Thursday, also alleged the identities of the attackers to be soldiers.
However, the spokesman said, “He (Sunday Igboho) is currently safe.”
Our correspondent gathered that cars and walls of the house were riddled with bullets during the invasion.
Some of the occupants of the house were said to have been whisked away by the invaders.
One of our correspondents, who visited the house after the attack on Thursday, saw bloodstains splattered all over Igboho’s living room as well as the premises.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Adewale Osifeso, when contacted, said he also heard about the invasion but he would find out to know exactly what happened.
Efforts to reach the Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, proved abortive as of the time of filing this report.
Reactions and condemnations have trailed the invasion of Igboho’s residence from the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams; as well as the leader of the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua, Banji Akintoye.
“Igboho is being hunted because of his beliefs in the struggle for the liberation of Yoruba race and those behind these two attacks should be warned that any attack on Igboho is an attack on all of us that are in the struggle for the liberation of Yoruba race. It is sad that this government is intolerant of other people’s views, Adams said in a statement while calling on the Federal Government and security forces to investigate the matter.
In a separate statement, Akintoye alleged that “the assailants were all dressed in military uniform and spoke French language fluently,” adding that nothing would stop or dissuade the agitators from seeking ‘Yoruba Nation’.
Thursday attack is one of the many reported attacks on Igboho and his Ibadan residence since January 2021 when he issued a seven-day ultimatum to ‘killer herders’ in Igangan, in Ibarapa area of Oyo State.
Igboho had enforced same which led to the eviction of the Fulani leader in the rustic town, Seriki Saliu Abdulkadir, and his men.
Following the expiration of his ultimatum, the activist had stormed the agrarian town and see to the eviction of Abdulkadir and his men who were accused of sundry crimes including rape, kidnapping and killing of farmers.
Abdulkadir, who has been displaced to Kwara State, however, denied the allegations.
There have been reprisals though, the latest occurred in June. About 17 persons were reportedly shot dead when hoodlums invaded Igangan on motorcycles around midnight, killing and destroying property.