By Adeola Badru
A foremost legal luminary, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), weekend, has advised Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, not to demonize the person of acclaimed freedom fighter, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as ‘Sunday Igboho,’ but rather be proactive than being reactionary.
He gave the warning, while speaking with journalists at his residence in Ibadan, following the imbroglio created by the driving out of the state of the leader of the Fulani herdsmen in Igangan, Alhaji Saliu Kadri.
Recall that January 15 was the day Sunday Igboho, and his supporters stormed the Fulani Community in Igangan, Ibarapa Local Council of Oyo State to issue a seven-day quit notice to Fulani herdsmen to vacate Igangan community, Oyo State, and all other Yoruba communities or be forced to do so.
He confronted the Sarkin Fulani, Saliu Kadri, and issued the polity-shaking ultimatum.
As expected, the ultimatum raised dust in the polity. It pitted Sunday Igboho against Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, who asked the police to arrest the warrior. It also divided the polity with pro and anti-Igboho’s ultimatum supporters baring their fangs.
Without mincing words, Igboho accused Kadri’s subjects (Fulani) of killing Yoruba natives including Oyo businessman, Fatai Aborode, Alhaja Serifat Adisa, and her children, and an Igangan prince, among others, saying that his move and actions had the blessings of Yoruba traditional rulers.
According to Chief Akintola, it has become rather unfortunate that those who should lead have not been proactive to national issues, but have become reactionaries to issues.
He said: “Like my brother Seyi Makinde. You can ask him. I called him before these things escalated, I gave him advice, I said look, call these guys (Sunday Igboho ), call Seriki Fulani, I am saying this publicly and I have said it before. I called him, I said your Excellency, call these guys. Security vote is not meant for jamboree, it is meant to take care of security and you need to be proactive.”
“You don’t need to demonize Sunday Igboho, a drastic event sometimes requires drastic solution. Sunday has his own problems against the backdrop of his background, you have to give it to him.”
“I think he needs intellectual input because he talks too much but he has good intention. Rather than demonizing Sunday Igboho, he should be guided. During NADECO days, at Igbotako in Ondo State, we knew what we did, Governor Ladoja is alive, we weren’t making noise about what we did. I took late Frederick Fasheun to Governor Ladoja, he puts his resources and equipment at our disposal.”
General Akinrinade sold his car, issues of security is not something to be discussed in public. There are certain things as a Governor that you need to say publicly and what you should not say.”
“So, I advised the Governor, I said Excellency, call this Sunday Igboho, call the Seriki of Igangan, there are certain things you will say to them that would have doused the tension. He promised he was going to do that.
“Unfortunately, he left it to fester until it became too late. We shouldn’t be speaking before thinking which has become the hallmark of some of our leaders. They act before thinking. We must put on our thinking cap, every Yoruba you see in the North is not Almajiri but a skilled labourer. Our relationship with our Northern brothers should be mutual respect.”
“Most political commentators on these issues don’t even know the political and geographical arithmetic of Yorubaland. How many of them realized that one local government separate Oyo State from Kebbi State? Only few people know that.”
“If you see an average Yoruba Muslim in the North, you will think, he or she is a Fulani man or woman, you won’t believe he or she is a Yoruba person and there are many of them there. Two or three of them are now governors there.”
“There are many of them holding important positions in the North like permanent secretaries, the Nigeria Army and justices at the Appellate court. They bear Hausa names. We must put on our thinking cap, that’s not an excuse for anybody to invade our land and destroy it, that’s what I am saying.”
“Yoruba controls the transport sector of the economy of this country, are you aware of that? Apart from the five southeast states, you will find Yoruba in every other area.”
“I am a nomadic lawyer, I know what I am talking about. I ask, how many of Northern professors do we have in our Universities in the Southwest? But there is virtually no University or Polytechnic in the North that you will not find a Yoruba man or woman at the top echelon.”
“The biggest hospital in Maiduguri is owned by a Yoruba man (Dr Ogunbiyi), the largest private hospital in Kaduna is owned by Dr Olu Alabi. You must think. Yoruba doesn’t fight unnecessary war, when we fight, we will win. We fought an intellectual war here over two decades ago without firing a shot,” he opined.