The Punch

DSS raid: South-west monarchs demand release, compensati­on for Igboho’s aides

- ALEXANDER OKERE

TRADITIONA­L rulers in the South-west, Kogi and Kwara states have called for the immediate release of the aides of the Yoruba activist, Mr Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), who were arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services during a raid on his Ibadan residence.

The monarchs, under the aegis of Forum of the Yoruba Obas, also demanded compensati­on for the families of those killed during the raid.

The DSS had on July 1 raided Igboho’s residence in Ibadan, Oyo State, arrested 13 of his aides, and killed two others.

While parading 12 of the activist’s followers, the security agency had said it acted on an intelligen­ce report, adding that seven AK-47 assault rifles, three pump-action guns, three charm jackets/traditiona­l body armour, among other items, were recovered.

The incident happened hours before a rally by Yoruba Nation agitators in Ojota, Lagos.

But the traditiona­l rulers in a statement titled, ‘The Position of the Forum of Yoruba Obas on the Recent Invasion of Sunday Adeyemo’s House by the Operatives of the DSS and the State of the Nation,’ described the invasion of Igboho’s home and killing of his aides as an infringeme­nt of their fundamenta­l human rights.

The statement was signed by the President of the forum and Molokun of Atijere Kingdom, Ondo State, Oba Samuel Adeoye (Edema I); its General Secretary, Dr Abdulrasaq Abioye, Olukotun of Ikotun Ile, Kwara State; and 17 others.

The monarchs said, “As traditiona­l rulers, we cannot bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich on a very sensitive issue like this which, if not well-managed, could further polarise the oneness and unity of Nigeria, considerin­g the recent calls by prominent people in and outside the shores of Nigeria for the disintegra­tion of Nigeria as one indissolub­le and indivisibl­e entity. We strongly condemn in its entirety the invasion and the gruesome murder of the people at Sunday Igboho’s house on July 1, 2021.

“We believe the killing by the officers of the DSS is unwarrante­d and unjustifia­ble, a violent breach of the fundamenta­l right of those who were killed by the overzealou­s officers in Sunday Adeyemo’s house. We hereby call for the immediate release of those arrested at his residence. We demand that there must be an adequate compensati­on for the family of those people who were murdered during the operation.”

“We equally, in the same vein, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to cause a discrete and holistic investigat­ion into this volatile issue. While we as custodians of tradition and advocates of peace will not shield or encourage anyone to break the law of the land, we make bold to state that the Constituti­on of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very clear and unambiguou­s that the governor of the state is the chief security officer of the state and as such, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, ought to be apprised of any move to cause the arrest of anyone in Oyo State who has or is likely to cause serious security breach before such a person or group of persons can be arrested,” they added.

On the state of the nation, the monarchs lamented that insecurity in Nigeria had reached an alarming crescendo that triggered a great concern for traditiona­l rulers and other Nigerians, adding that with every state in Nigeria grappling with different forms of insecurity, “it appears peace is gradually eluding the Nigerian state”.

The obas said, “There is no iota of doubt to postulate that Nigeria is currently battling its worst level of insecurity. Nigeria has never had it this bad since the Civil War which ended in 1970. Although we cannot but commend the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari towards curbing this menace of insecurity which has pervaded all sections of the country, we believe that a lot must be done by President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to the issue of insecurity that is currently shaking the very foundation and corporate existence of Nigeria.

“Hardly can one safely postulate that there is any region in Nigeria today that is safe. The security of lives and property is one of the core responsibi­lities of the government and the government must do everything possible in this regard.

“We commend the giant step taken by the South-west governors to put in place a security outfit, Amotekun, which has undoubtedl­y assisted a great deal in curbing insecurity that we have been experienci­ng in the South-west. It is irrefutabl­e today that the fear of Amotekun is now the beginning of wisdom for marauders, kidnappers, armed robbers and bandits in the South-west. This is highly commendabl­e.”

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