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Sunday Igboho: Villain or Vigilante?

February 22, 2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Tolulope Oduola

One of the hottest subjects of discussion that has been on the front burner in the last few weeks has been the herdsmen crisis. From starting as security issues majorly in the northeast and middle belt, the menace has gradually begun to spread through the country slowly but surely resulting in what has become a serious crisis resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and the loss of property, farmland, and farm produce.

Like an epidemic, the crisis has spread through the country eating into the already frail thread by which the country is hanging. With the herdsmen crisis has also come ethnic and religious clashes raising the security tension in the country to an all-time high. Add that to the problem of kidnapping, corruption, poverty and you have a country that is simmering on the brink of a catastrophe such as it has never seen before.

DID YOU KNOW?

According to the Global Terrorism Index, the herdsmen conflicts resulted in over 800 deaths by 2015.

The ensuing action from the powers that be has done little or next to nothing in reassuring the citizens of a way forward from the mess in which the country finds itself. With the panicky state of the citizens, it was only inevitable that there was going to be a reaction from the citizens. After all, the third law of motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

It was, therefore, no surprise when Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho rose in response to the growing crisis. A native of Igboho town in Oyo state, Mr. Igboho relocated to Osun state with his father at a young age. It was the Modakeke-Ife crisis in the 1990s though that brought the making of the man as he played a major role in the war which broke out between the two communities initially starting as a youngster who carried bullets for warriors before graduating into being able to handle a gun by himself.

His various escapades at NURTW both in Modakeke, Osun State, and Oyo state, his political association with both Lam Adesina and Rashidi Ladoja both former governors of Oyo state, and his land grabbing allegations have all being major headlines of the person Sunday Igboho over the years which has brought him popularity among the South-West region of the country.

When he gave, therefore, gave a seven-day ultimatum to the herdsmen in Ibarapa, Oyo state who he accused of being responsible for killings and kidnappings in the community and Oke-Ogun, there was only going to be one outcome. Chaos and destruction rained upon his visit to Igangan despite the warning from the state government against his intending action.

Of course, while there were concern and fear for the action of Sunday Igboho, the major fear was the aftereffects of carrying out such action, and true to those fears, the events that have followed on have shown that if not checked, the country would only go deeper in this quagmire. From fundraising efforts for Sunday Igboho to the clamor for licensing of guns and the call for everyone to defend himself in any way deemed necessary, his actions which have seen him deemed a freedom fighter have threatened to set the country on a course that it may never truly recover from.

Truth is that the citizens have lost faith in the government to adequately secure their lives and property. People are frustrated with the reoccurring occurrences of death, kidnapping, destruction of property and seem to have truly given in the idea that if they don’t get to protect themselves then they will be left at the mercy of the assailants. What threatens to be displayed is a free-for-all country with no regard to the laws of the land. Believe it or not, people are more open to the idea to the idea of protecting what they have instead of trusting the government to do than ever before. It is beginning to be peddled as a noble ideology which everyone should wake up to.

Whilst, in reality, this shift cannot all be blamed on one person if this eventually turns into a shit-show, regardless of the outcome, his role cannot be forgotten. 

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