Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against ordering the arrest of Sunday Adeyemo, a Yoruba activist popularly known as Sunday Igboho, noting that the Federal Government will face resistance from the Yoruba nation.
His statement comes after some youths said to be supporters of Sunday Igboho reportedly attacked communities occupied by the Fulanis in Iganga, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State on Friday and killed three persons.
Igboho had given the Fulani a seven-day ultimatum, which expired on Friday, to vacate the area over what he described as the rising killings of residents, as well as kidnaping and banditry in the community.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, told the BBC Hausa Service on Friday that Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police, had directed the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Igboho.
Fani-Kayode, however, advised that the Federal Government to tread softly on the matter because Sunday Igboho has the “full support of the Yoruba nation because he has spoken for the people”.
According to the former minister, any action by the government which leads to the death of the activist will make him a martyr for the Yoruba nation.
“It would be dangerous, reckless & counter-productive for Buhari to ARREST or KILL Sunday Igboho. When the Northern youths demanded that Igbos should leave the north no-one was arrested. Why should Sunday be arrested or killed for asking KILLER Fulani herdsmen to leave SW?.
“I advise the FG to tread softly because Sunday has the full support of the Yoruba nation because he has spoken for the people. Kill him & you make him a martyr for Oduduwa, arrest him & you make him the greatest hero of the Yoruba since independence. Whichever way he wins.
“The way to solve the problem is to arrest the herdsmen that kill & kidnap our people in the SW & not to arrest or kill those that are standing up & speaking for their victims. Sunday did not ask for ALL Fulanis to leave SW. He asked for the killers, terrorists& kidnappers.
“Amongst them to leave Ibarapa & the Yoruba people LOVE him for it. Is that a crime? As long as he maintains the peace & does not indulge in or encourage any violence I do not see what he has done wrong? In 1999 when Gani Adams was rising up I identified him as a young man.
“To watch. I wrote an essay about him and I said his courage would take him far. I was proved right. Today I identify Sunday Igboho who has stood up against wickedness, injustice & apartheid in our land when other Yoruba leaders were too timid to stand. I commend his courage,” the tweets read.