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March 28, 2024

Gani Adams, Sunday Igboho clash over alleged assassination plot

Sunday Igboho

•Ooni, other Yoruba leaders wade in

By Dapo Akinrefon & Laolu Elijah

THE lingering rivalry between the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams; and the Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has defied interventions by notable Yoruba sons and daughters including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

Efforts to resolve the frosty relationship between Adams and Igboho seem not to be yielding fruits.

The cold war between the two has been in existence for a long time.

Sunday Igboho has a house in the Soka area of Ibadan and most of the time, the loyalists of the two men fighting for superiority and control of the area often clash.

There has been friction between them ever before the invasion of Igboho’s residence by security agents during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

They are two parallel lines that cannot meet on the agitation for self-determination which popularized Igboho.

Both worked at cross purposes.

When Sunday Igboho was in detention at Benin Republic, the crisis appeared to have been resolved, but it still rages even now.

Resurgence of the Cold War

When the crisis had almost become a thing of the past, a viral audio clip surfaced where Adams, who is the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, allegedly accused Igboho and the Chief of Staff to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Mr Tayo Ayinde of plotting to kill him.

Also, one of the allegations bordered on the assassination of the former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, the late Chief Bola Ige in December 2001.

Other allegations, according to Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, SAN, counsel to Mr Ayinde, include hiring Igboho to kill him (Adams).

Olumide-Fusika claimed that in the viral voice note, Adams allegedly said: “I would send you a letter signed and sent by these people to the President, imploring him to stop wasting time and give them the go-ahead to eliminate me (Adams).

“So, be careful associating with Igboho. Just last night, he was with Tayo Ayinde, the Lagos State Governor’s Chief of Staff. He was heavily paid. You know that I have an extensive intelligence network as Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. Until about 2:45 am, he was with Tayo Ayinde, the Lagos State Governor’s Chief of Staff, who Tinubu also uses in Lagos to coordinate the execution of his evil machinations. He has been doing work of that nature for Tinubu since his days in the SSS”.

Igboho denies allegations

Igboho’s counsel, J. A Sanusi, while denying all the allegations, said: “That the malicious lies against our client only exist in the figment of your imagination as our client is a law-abiding citizen, whose only offence at the time was to protect the interest of the Yoruba race, a responsibility which you were ordinarily saddled to discharge but failed to so do.”

Also, Counsel to Sunday Igboho, J. A Sanusi claimed Adams said: “Our client is an assassin who used to work for President Bola Tinubu.

“Our client is rumoured to be one of the persons that assassinated the late Chief Bola Ige, SAN, together with another man.
“That our client was involved in a series of murder cases but escaped prosecution as a result of his political connection.

“Our client received the sum of N45 million sometime in 2022 to carry out some dirty work for the President.

“That our client swindled Nigerians in diaspora for a fake self-determination agenda of the Yoruba race.”

Igboho, Ayinde threaten legal actions

Both Igboho and Ayinde, through their counsels, have separately threatened litigations against Adams asking him to retract all the allegations against them.

Before the litigation, Olumide-Fusika, who described the allegations as injurious said: “You will agree with me that the imputations in the above are as serious and damaging, as those who have listened to the ‘voice notes’ have represented it to my client by their telephone calls and visits. It includes that my client is complicit in a conspiracy to murder you, and is the coordinator of the phantom operation. Given your experience in life, I am sure you will appreciate how painful it is to be unjustly accused, as you have done in this instance against my client.

“My instructions are, therefore, to respectfully demand that you retract the false and wicked allegation, either through another voice note to go around the same social media, or by a press release referencing and recanting the allegation.

Don’t take my silence for cowardice —Gani Adams

Breaking his silence over the viral audio clip, Adams insisted the clip generating the squabbles was distorted and disjointed.

Besides, he warned against what he termed as deliberate efforts by some individuals to discredit him, saying his silence should not be taken for cowardice.

He said he was ready to set the records straight on the various questions hanging in the balance on the alleged defamation contained in the clips.

The Yoruba generalissimo, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, said despite the peace parley initiated by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, there was a grand conspiracy to discredit his person.
He said: “The reason for my silence amid the various legal and media infractions by Igboho and Ayinde, was not because I am a coward, but because of the initial interventions of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, other prominent Obas and several other important personalities in Yorubaland.

“But with the ongoing lies and aspersions against my person, I think it is time for me to come out open and set the record straight.

“Though my legal team have done what was required of them, I need to state clearly that the audio clip generating the squabbles was distorted and disjointed content

of a private conversation which held way back in 2021 with a US-based younger brother of a friend.
“The conversation was initiated by the young man who claimed he wanted reconciliation between me, Igboho and some other people.

“It was while responding on reasons for reconciliation at the time that he mentioned the names of the two people.
“In the said audio, I said repeatedly that though it was very difficult to believe, there’s an unconfirmed rumour allegedly linking Igboho to the murder of the late Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige.

“My statement was not done in bad faith and it was purely a private conversation.

“It is surprising how a private conversation held almost four years ago would suddenly turn up in the hands of Igboho. To discerning minds, it is obvious that Igboho unlawfully invaded my privacy, bugged a private conversation and inappropriately used the same on several social media platforms.

“Recall that before now, precisely in early March, the same people had bombarded the media space about my heritage.
“The same people had claimed I was of Tapa, Nupe extraction.

“In another breath, they alleged that I requested the sum of N20 billion from the organisers of the Yoruba Security Conference, held in Ile Ife, Osun State on February 29, 2024.

“They followed up these by invading and intruding on my privacy. My legal team is presently working on all these.
“However, on the issue of my brother, Tayo Ayinde, let me make it clear here that I repeatedly said that whatever was said was a rumour that couldn’t be substantiated or made public.

“But for their sinister motives, it was Igboho that bugged my telephone, published and made it public.

“The picture has now become clearer that they resorted to the audio clip blackmail after they failed in their earlier attempt to rubbish my name.

Peace parley

Vanguard gathered that prominent Yoruba monarchs and leaders, at various times, made efforts to calm the frayed nerves but the rivalry remained unabated.

The Yoruba Alliance Forum, YAF, on its part, advised all parties in the crisis to sheathe their swords and unite to fight the common enemies of the Yoruba race.

The group, in a statement by its chairman and Secretary, Messrs Onitolo-Ariyo Adejare and Adedeji Oluwaseun, described the unity of the Yoruba as the best weapon to fight common enemies.

The statement reads: “This unlawful act can affect the much-needed unity and peace in Yoruba land and can also expose the race to further attacks by the enemies of the Yoruba.

“The issue that transpired between Iba and his former aides in 2015 as well as the audio content generated from a private discussion in 2021 should not be the cog in the wheel of the progress of the Yoruba race.

“We had a telephone conversation with the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land on March 23, over the content and the veracity of the trending audio voice note.

“Having listened to his side of the story, we considered it pertinent to intervene in the interest of the Yoruba as well as for the future of our race.

“From his account, the audio was a private discussion between Adams and a US-based younger brother of his friend.

“According to him, the voice note was not made in bad faith because it was not in the public or reported in the newspapers or any traditional medium. All the contents were products of a private discussion and responses given in reaction to the need for all the groups in Yoruba land to unite and come together as one, to fight the common enemies of our race.

“Yoruba Alliance Forum will continue to foster peace, part of which was the audience we had with Iba Gani Adams through a telephone conversation.

“Now that we have a president coming from the southwest and a Yoruba son, we must also be conscious of the fact that many would not be happy with this.

“That is why all the stakeholders as well as our freedom fighters in Yoruba land must come together as one big family to ensure peace and unity in Yoruba land.

“We are also appealing to all social media bloggers and loyalists of Adams and Igboho to stop any attempt that can cause division in Yoruba land.

“So, as a formidable organization in Yoruba land, we must always adhere to peace. We must also commit ourselves to the peace and unity of Yorubaland, as being propagated by Adams.

“Therefore, we must know that it is by being united that we can save Yorubaland from the insidious plans of the enemies of our race.”