Sunday Igboho: Another Saro-Wiwa?

Sunny Chris Okenwa

Just days after the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) fugitive leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was ‘kidnapped’ in Kenya and brought back home in chains Sunday Igboho’s Soka country home in Ibadan, Oyo State, came under serious assault at midnight hours from the Department of State Services (DSS) and military forces. In the end two people inside the house were killed and thirteen others arrested and taken ‘prisoners’. Igboho himself, whose bedroom was ransacked and ‘sacred’ personal belongings taken away, escaped mysteriously. It was a second violent attack on his house and apparent assassination attempt on his life this year.

The first time earlier this year one of his houses was not only attacked by the so-called ‘assailants’ at wee hours of the night but it was set ablaze! Igboho, then in his usual fetish hubris, had warned that those who put fire to his residential property somewhere in Ibadan would run mad within three days! Since then no one knows for sure if anyone involved in that arson had gone mad anywhere.

And before then a futile attempt was made by the DSS to abduct Igboho along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as he travelled to Lagos to keep an appointment with a prominent Yoruba elder statesman. Igboho and his boys resisted the attempt and created a scene. A viral video later emerged online depicting a shirtless Igboho belching imprecations on the security goons out to cut him to size.

Following the DSS invasion that led to a gun duel recently the spokesperson for the Service, Peter Afunnaya, had addressed a press conference where details of the bloody raid was made officially public. According to him the DSS decided to intervene following a tip-off that Igboho was stockpiling weapons in his residence with the intention of destabilizing the nation through his Oduduwa Republic agitation.

The secret police paraded some Igboho aides and assistants arrested during the raid displaying an arsenal of weapons they claimed were seized inside Igboho’s house. Assault riffles, cartridges, passports, traditional bullet-proof vests, and other inciminating materials were exposed. “The arrest and seizures are no doubt confirmation of a grand plan by Igboho and cohorts to wage a violent insurrection against the Nigerian state”, the DSS declared.

Igboho was consequently declared wanted for his subversive insurrectional activities! Afunnaya said that Igboho could run as much as he could or hide as long as possible but in the end the laws of the land would prevail over him. But recent reports online had it that Igboho was back to his house daring the DSS as it were to come get him!

Even Igboho’s cats were not spared as some were killed while others were taken away. Reports online hinted that the biggest of the cats was carted away because the DSS goons had believed Igboho must have transformed himself into the cat! Given his fetish inclinations the DSS must have known that they were up against a mystic fellow boasting openly of his supernatural endowments.

After the violent incident that claimed lives and damaged properties belonging to the Oduduwa Republic agitator Igboho through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, had issued a strongly-worded statement denouncing the gory raid and (according to them) setting the record straight. The statement made it clear that the arms paraded and purported to have been seized from his home were not his but what he described as “government magic”. He declared that he protected himself with traditional powers and not with guns.

Above all, Igboho claimed in the statement that his current persecution was borne out of the fact that the Buhari administration had failed to treat Nigerians equally. He faulted the federal government’s failure to protect lives and properties and the ‘freedom’ given to the Fulani herdsmen and kidnappers and rapists to go about committing crimes with impunity.

He ended the statement by making direct reference to the hanged popular Ogoni non-violent environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, saying that since he fell victim to state terrorism more Saro-Wiwas had emerged to bring Nigeria to her knees! The late kleptocrat that brutally killed Saro-Wiwa, Gen. Sani Abacha, had since died himself. The Ogoni issue still remains unresolved even up till now.

But what surprised a sound mind was Igboho claiming ignorantly that he was another Ken Saro-Wiwa! No matter his popularity in Yorubaland Sunday Igboho cannot be another Saro-Wiwa for obvious reasons. We shall come to that at the tail end of this piece.

With the recent attack against Igboho and his household (with the Oyo State executive Governor, Seyi Makinde, allegedly unaware) President Muhammadu Buhari had demonstrated his dictatorial readiness to speak the ‘language’ the agitators could understand better! Language of coercion, of force and aggression. The embattled President had warned the Kanus and Igbohos of this world of his preparedness to wield the big stick.

Yet when it comes to agitators from the south Buhari is very keen to use maximum force but when the Boko Haram terrorists or Fulani herdsmen are involved he becomes powerless. If that does not amount to double standards in a presidential system of government in a diverse nation like ours then nothing more qualifies for one.

Is Sunday Igboho another Saro-Wiwa? Or better still, is Igboho a Saro-Wiwa incarnate? Hell no! the comparison is dead on arrival. Comparing Igboho with the late Saro-Wiwa, an enigma, is like comparing apple with orange. Or paw-paw with pineapple.

For one, Saro-Wiwa was an intellectual of high repute and international clout. Igboho’s academic profile is nothing to write home about. For another, Saro-Wiwa, peace to his soul, was a brilliant playwright and accomplished environmentalist. Igboho is a glorified freedom fighter thrown up by circumstances of failure of leadership at the state and federal levels.

It is just like comparing the ‘caged’ Nnamdi Kanu with the late Biafran warlord, Dim Emeka Ojukwu. In this case like that of Igboho and Saro-Wiwa there is no room for comparison. It is like asking the difference between dusk and dawn or darkness and light. Go figure!

SOC Okenwa


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