THE National Leader of Afenifere, a South-West socio-cultural group Ayo Adebanjo, said his group would take President Muhammadu Buhari to God for intervention over his approach to governance in the country.
He stated this on Wednesday in response to the arrest and planned extradition of Yoruba Nation canvasser, Sunday Adeyemo, otherwise known as Sunday Igboho, on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show.’
The 93-year-old said Buhari was a despot who would not listen to anyone, including eminent citizens and leading emirs in his region.
According to him, those allegedly oppressed by the president had no power on their own to fight back but would run to God for help.
“They are keeping everybody quiet. But I tell you, Buhari may depend on chariots and everything; we have God. We will call on our God to deal with Buhari because we are helpless…God will come to our aid at the right time. Buhari may think we are helpless now, but God is there for those who are helpless.”
He added: “He has that ammunition of power. I’m talking now, I have told people my life is not safe. I’m ready. At 93, what do I want? But I will fight for the cause that I have lived for since I was a younger man. It’s sad for me to see Nigeria the way it is going.”
He said all of Buhari’s actions in his party and Nigeria’s parliament were anti-democracy.
He said the Electoral Bill recently amended by the National Assembly, which many saw as capable of hampering the electronic transmission of votes after poll, exemplified Buhari’s despotism.
Adebanjo also accused the president of bias.
According to him, “Buhari is chasing Igboho all around. He is chasing Nnamdi Kanu. But he is negotiating with robbers, with armed bandits who are terrifying and troubling the country.”
He said it was because Buhari failed to protect lives and property in Igboho’s area that made the activist stand up in the self-defence of his people.
Speaking on arrest and attempted extradition of Igboho from the Benin Republic, Adebanjo said Nigeria secret police, the State State Security (SSS), behaved like a department under a dictatorship.
“What is his offence? To put it roundly, he’s calling for secession. No more, no less. He’s been holding meetings in Akure, Osogbo and other places without damage to anybody.”
He cited the instance when late Obafemi Awolowo, himself and others were accused of treason by the Tafawa Balewa government and how Ghana and countries where they fled protected them.
“In the First Republic, Balewa accused Chief Awolowo and me of treasonable felony. We were in Ghana, and there was a meeting of African leaders at that time. Balewa insisted that he wouldn’t come because myself, Ikoku and others were in Ghana.
“Ukrumah did not repatriate us because of that. What did he do? He sent us abroad to Russia and other places while that conference would be taking place. He didn’t break the relations. He didn’t repatriate us because he wanted the conference to hold there. That is what is done in a democracy,” he said.
The Afenifere leader said he fought for Nigeria’s independence with others by struggling under British colonialism and vowed that the Yoruba race would resist Fulani domination under any guise.
He said despite public outcry against the atrocities allegedly committed by the Fulanis in the South-West, the people continued to unleash mayhem on their hosts.
The SSS arrested Igboho on July 20 while reportedly attempting to travel to Germany.
The arrest followed the raid on his house by the SSS on July 1.
The operatives reportedly killed some of his aides and took away dangerous weapons, charms and other items from his Ibadan home.
His arrest and attempted extradition have resulted in various manoeuvrings by the Nigerian government and some heavyweights in the South-West.
Adebanjo had earlier described Igboho’s arrest as an attack on the South-West, which comprised mainly people of Yoruba extraction.
Igboho is one of the prominent leaders calling for the creation of a Yoruba nation out of Nigeria.
Yoruba is one of the three major tribes in Nigeria.
The leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye, Igboho and 49 other Yoruba self-determination activists dragged Buhari and top members of his government to the International Criminal Court recently, alleging genocide to the people of the race.
The ICC acknowledged the receipt of the letter.
Some stakeholders in the region have also vowed to further push the Yoruba nation agenda through the 76th United Nations General Assembly coming up in September.
The ICIR had earlier reported that Igboho’s extradition would hold on Thursday.