The popular Yoruba rights activist Chief Sunday Adisa Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, has suddenly become a superstar, a celebrity, for his audacious utterances and actions aimed towards intimidating and forcing the Fulani cattle herders in Yorubaland to change their aggressive ways or quit outright the land of Oduduwa. Igboho may not be a terrorist but he has succeeded in making fear change sides. The terrorists of yore are now terrorized, the oppressors now oppressed! Sometimes in life, it is good for things to turn out this way.
Sunday Igboho’s antecedents point to political thuggery and banditry. He was known to have helped some politicians gain power illicitly by terrorizing their opponents. Besides, he was said to have played a major destabilising role in the Ife/Modakeke communal crisis cum conflict of 1997/98. Igboho was said to have worked for Governor Seyi Makinde during the 2019 governorship election in the state but along the line their relations became frosty.
He started off as a motorcycle repairer and later ventured into automobiles, selling cars. He was able to start Adeson Business Concept, which has today morphed into Adeson International Business Concept Ltd. From being a political contractor/enforcer to a successful businessman engaged in legitimate venture Igboho’s transformation must have been a rag-to-riches, grass-to-grace story.
Igboho was said to have gone through the tutelage of the late notorious so-called ‘strongman of Ibadan politics’, Chief Lamidi Adedibu. He was said to have worked with the former Oyo Governors like Lam Adesina and Rasheed Ladoja, perhaps manhandling voters, snatching ballot boxes or providing cover for the commission of electoral crimes.
Following the invasion of the ‘banished’ Seriki-Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir’s home in Igangan few weeks ago by the Igboho-led mob some ‘hoodlums’ had attacked one of Igboho’s houses in Ibadan setting it ablaze. Igboho had claimed that he had lost properties worth millions of Naira in the arson incident that amounted to a retaliatory strike. Beyond his loss, however, the man of the moment had boasted that those behind the burning of his house would “run mad” within the intervening 48 hours!
No one knows for sure now whether anyone linked to the Igboho house inferno had become a lunatic case or not. Suffering insanity as a direct result of an attack on someone’s property could be said to be a harsh consequence of a commandeered action. What is sure is that Igboho sees himself supremely as largely invincible! References to this supposed invincibility brought about by traditional means had echoed every now and then.
When he visited Ibarapaland following the expiration of his unilateral quit notice to Fulani herdsmen mayhem had erupted leading to a burnt house, cars and slain cows belonging to the local Fulani leader. As anarchy reigned Igboho was said to have been fired at but bullets failed to penetrate his juju-fortified body! He also claimed that an axe attack on him produced no effect or injury.
Since then he had been going around boasting of his supernatural powers. Recently in an interview with a newspaper in Lagos he had declared that no one could kill him except God! Igboho sounds like someone with sound assurance from non-celestial quarters. His marabout or fetish priest, if he has any at all, must be strong indeed in protective powers.
He once dismissed rumours of being sponsored by politicians to destabilise Oyo state or demystify the youthful Governor, Seyi Makinde. Claiming that he was not for the highest bidder the Oduduwa Republic agitator stated that he was rich already and needed no fund from anyone to do what he is doing.
Recently, the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had banned cryptocurrencies (digital cash operations) as legitimate means of exchange in Nigeria saying it fueled illicit financial flow and terrorism. The CBN argued strongly that “cryptocurrencies have become well-suited for conducting many illegal activities, including money laundering, terrorism financing, purchase of small arms and light weapons, and tax evasion”.
The government must have decided to act forcefully against the digital money operating system because of news of millions of Naira raised by the Yoruba Diaspora for Sunday Igboho. Igboho was not bothered by the development and he made it clear that he needed no foreign funds to undertake the ‘liberation’ of Yorubaland from the vicious grip of criminal elements masquerading as genuine cattle breeders.
Sunday Igboho knows where he is coming from and where he is going. He was not afraid to take on the high and mighty including kings and politicians ruining the lives of their people. For him the Ooni of Ife, the Lagos political godfather, Bola Tinubu and Governor Makinde are all “Fulani slaves”! Though he had apologised and reconciled with the Ooni his rhetorics still continue to bear witness to his preparedness for whatever comes his way.
What Igboho is currently doing is a dangerous adventure and care must be taken in order not to lose whatever goodwill of the people he had garnered thus far. The battle would be rude and crude and he needs wisdom to be able to navigate the murky waters. Otherwise whatever he is banking his safety or life on could disappoint him.
The late beloved billionaire businessman cum politician, Bashorun MKO Abiola, was the Aare-Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland. He was elected President on June 12, 1993 but he never tasted power sadly. Even today we still grieve for him and think about what would have been the fate of our nation had an Abiola presidency happened as majority of Nigerians had wished.
The late Gen. Sani Abacha and Ibrahim Babangida’s military gang made sure the popular mandate given to the flamboyant generous great man became history by killing him in their gulag. While the latter, the ‘evil-genius’ from Minna, criminally annulled the election without any cogent reason the former, the late ‘maximum ruler’ from Kano ensured cruelly that Abiola never lived to exercise the mandate.
When ‘President’ Abiola declared the June 12 mandate irrevocable declaring himself President-elect at Epetedo area of Lagos the Abacha junta hunted him down. He was said to have recruited a famous fetish priest who promised to release a multitude of bees upon the soldiers whenever they tried to take him away! But when the soldiers came for Abiola the marabout was nowhere to be found!
The late Benue-based wanted criminal Terwase Akwaza, better known as Gana, was alleged to have buried his daughter alive in order to obtain the supernatural powers that made him invincible! But in the end he was still killed having been tricked out by an amnesty programme that never was. Gana was said to be so powerful mysteriously that many attempts to arrest or eliminate him proved abortive until the day of reckoning came calling.
While Igboho’s fetish hubris could be understood in a superstitious nation where lives of Fulani cows appear to be more valuable than those of ordinary Nigerians we must not only warn about too much faith in mysticism but wish to remind Igboho about the perils of haughtiness.
It is often said that whatever a fetish priest or a sorcerer can do mystically another of their kind can undo in equal mystic measure.