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…Says Buhari apprehensive of Igboho’s large followership

Abiodun OBA

THE National Leader of Afenifere Ayo Adebanjo said Nobody knew Igboho in this country until Buhari’s failure to protect lives and property.

Adebanjo stated this on Thursday when he featured on a popular television programme.

The Afenifere leader emphasized that Igboho earned so much popularity because of Buhari’s failure to protect lives and property.

Adebanjo said he never knew Igboho until he rose to the defence of his people after Fulanis allegedly attacked them.

“They kidnapped the Oba (monarch) there. They kidnapped the children, and they raped the women.

“And the man rose in retaliation because all those people who did these havocs, neither the Federal Government nor the state government came to their aid and arrest the culprits.

“That was the action that caused the reaction of Igboho. Nobody knew Igboho in this country. I didn’t know him until this incident came about,” he said.

Adebanjo pointed out that the Federal Government was after the South-West self-determination activist because of Sunday Igboho’s popularity in Nigeria, adding that Buhari feels threatened by Igboho’s his growing large followership in Nigeria.

He said: “When they see the crowd that Igboho is pulling at every meeting, that is what is terrifying them. Can Buhari summon the crowd that Igboho is summoning each time he holds a meeting, even with the fact that he (Buhari) gives money to who will attend the meeting, that is a rented crowd?”

Adebanjo, however, noted that he remained committed to the unity of Nigeria, despite his opposition to Igboho’s arrest by the Buhari government.

He said: “I have fought for the unity of this country in the last 70 years when Buhari was still in primary school. I have invested in ONE Nigeria.

“And my party has been leading the question of Nigeria that is united. Until Buhari came with this fraudulent constitution, and you want us to keep quiet. I will not keep quiet.

“Civilised people who know about extradition don’t extradite political refugees who know their lives are not safe in their country,” he said.

Adebanjo variously described Buhari as a dictator, whose actions, he said, worsened injustice, marginalisation and brought about calls for secession and other agitations in the country.

He argued that the invasion of Igboho’s house by the State Security Service (SSS) was an infringement on his rights, adding that the SSS was embarrassing the country before the rest of the world.

According to him, the SSS must explain the crime committed by Igboho that would warrant his arrest and extradition from Benin to Nigeria.

He maintained that the call for secession was not treason.

The Afenifere leader also said Igboho’s refusal to make himself available to the SSS was in order. “You’re looking for somebody’s life, and you’re asking him to come and surrender himself. Who will do that?”

Adebanjo said Igboho was a political refugee in Benin and that he didn’t commit any crime in Nigeria before he left the country.

“He didn’t commit any crime here. He didn’t waylay anybody. He didn’t kill anybody. He didn’t run away from anybody after committing a crime. He ran away for his life because of the power that wants to kill him because of his agitation.”

He said Buhari had muzzled everybody, including the press. “There is a limit to the question you can ask now without them probing you,” he said.

Security operatives arrested Igboho on July 20 while reportedly attempting to travel to Germany.

His arrest and attempted extradition have resulted in various manoeuvrings by the Nigerian government and some heavyweights in the South-West.

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