A self-styled Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, on Saturday, threatened to disrupt the 2023 general elections in Southwest states of Nigeria.
Mr Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, spoke in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, during a Yoruba Nation rally, where participants called for a break away from the country.
He claimed that many Southwest governors are interested in breaking away but are scared that their monthly allocation could be denied if they declare open support for an independent Yoruba nation.
“I can’t be cowed or intimidated. They said I would be arrested. Who would dare do that? We are no longer part of Nigeria. We won’t have anything to do with them again,” he said.
“There is no election again in Yorubaland until we have a Yoruba nation. Those in authority initially thought we were joking when we demanded an independent Yoruba nation.
“All our governors are with us. From Oyo, Ogun and Ondo to Ekiti, Lagos and Osun, they are supporting us, but they can’t do it openly. Allocation they give them in Abuja may stop if they do it openly. So, don’t abuse them again. Governor Oyetola was informed I will be in Osun and he allowed us to come here. All our monarchs are with us,” Mr Igboho said. Mr Igboho did not provide evidence for his claim and there is no evidence he has the support of the governors.
Mr Adeyemo, however, said he would revolt against stakeholders who failed to support his cause.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the Yoruba nation agitators grounded activities in Osogbo on Saturday as major roads were blocked.
They were also seen chanting secession songs and distributing handbills to people along the streets.
Before Osun, similar rallies were held in Oyo and Ogun states in late April and early May respectively.
Some high profile Nigerians have said only an urgent restructuring would save Nigeria from breaking up.
Also, 17 southern governors in Nigeria called for restructuring last week.
But the presidency has maintained that calls for restructuring are “recurring threats to the corporate existence of the country with factions giving specific timelines for the President to do one thing or another or else, in their language, ‘the nation will break up.”
Mr Adeyemo is a notorious warlord with a history of negative past. This newspaper reported how he was evicted from Modakeke in Osun State in early 2000 following the crisis between NURTW members and motorcycle riders.
Mr Adeyemo was later made a political thug of former Oyo State Governor, Rashidi Ladoja, and became more prominent.
In January, he led a group of men to Igangan in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo state to eject the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Salihu Abdulkadir, triggering a face-off with the state and federal governments.
He accused Mr Abdulkadir of backing criminal herdsmen behind the kidnapping and killing of farmers and residents of the community. Mr Abdulkadir denied the allegation but he was nonetheless forcefully ejected from a community he had lived in for decades.
Also in February, he defied authorities order and proceeded to Ogun State to purportedly evict herdsmen resident there.
He claimed that some security operatives attached to Oyo State Operation Burst attempted to arrest him at the Lagos-Ibadan expressway while on his way to meet elder statesman, Ayo Adebanjo, in Lagos.
This was denied by the State Security Service and other security agencies.
He has repeatedly threatened to attack top government officials including monarchs in Yoruba land.
The Osun police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, did not respond to calls and text messages seeking her reaction to the threat made by Mr Adeyemo in Osogbo on Saturday.
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