Afenifere, Yoruba socio-cultural group, has condemned the Thursday attack on the Ibadan residence of activist, Sunday Adeyemi, better known as Sunday Igboho.
Gunmen said to be in Nigerian army uniform had attacked Igboho’s house in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State, killing two persons.
The Department of States Services (DSS), on Thursday evening, confirmed that its operatives carried out the raid on the activist’s home, two days to his proposed Yoruba Nation rally in Lagos State.
Speaking on the development, acting leader of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, in a statement signed on his behalf by the national publicity secretary of the group, Jare Ajayi, said the attack was a “sad reminder of what Nigerians went through under the inglorious regime of late General Sani Abacha”.
The group said further that, “the attack is a sad indicator that we are fast returning to the era of late Sani Abacha when anyone who expressed opinions contrary to government’s position would be fatally attacked”.
According to Afenifere, the manner of the attack indicated culpability on the part of those in authority.
“We are forced into this deduction for a number of reasons. Firstly, eyewitness accounts indicated that the vehicles and uniforms of the attackers were that of the security agencies.
“Secondly, the failure of security agencies to confront the attackers further implicated the government. It was reported that the attack lasted for more than three hours. Igboho’s residence is in a highly-populated area within minutes’ reach to surrounding police stations. That no rescue team came from any of the police units including the DSS office in Ibadan for the several hours that the attack lasted makes it difficult not to believe that the government is complicit in the attack”, the statement read in part.
Afenifere made reference to how voices that were opposed to the dictatorial tendencies of the Abacha regime were suppressed.
“We recalled how patriots like General Alani Akinrinade, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Pa Alfred Rewane etc were attacked resulting in the untimely and gruesome murder of Pa Rewane”, the group further said.
The pan-Yoruba organization said it is forced to make this deduction because Sunday Igboho is known to be at the forefront of agitations to establish Yoruba Nation.
“What is wrong in canvassing for self-determination so long as such agitation is devoid of violence? The constitution the country is running guarantees the right of every Nigerian to express an opinion and even carry out rallies as long as such is done without violence.
“To the best of our knowledge, none of the rallies that Sunday Igboho has led in his campaign for the Yoruba nation could be said to be violent nor was he implicated in illegal activities. Why then should he be subjected to the kind of treatment his household received on Thursday morning?” it queried.