The attempt by a combined team of security forces to forcefully arrest the Yoruba activist and freedom fighter, Chief Sunday Igboho, on Friday, has been condemned by some leaders represented at the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, yesterday.
The forum had amongst other Afenifere (South West), Ohanaeze (South East), and PANDEF (Middle Belt) in attendance.
Sunday Igboho, while on his way to Lagos to visit Chief Ayo Adebanjo, a Yoruba leader and an elder statesman, was reportedly halted by a joint team of soldiers, Department of State Services (DSS) and Police officers, who allegedly wanted to arrest him for an undisclosed reason.
In a statement signed by Mr Yinka Odumakin (South West), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South), Chief Guy Ikokwu (South-East) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle-Belt), the forum urged President Muhammadu Buhari to show leadership and prevail on the widespread security challenges in the country. It berated the president for refraining in condemning the nefarious activities of the bandits in the country despite the public outcries and trepidation.
The statement says, “We have noticed the media denial by the DSS of its involvement in the dastardly operation in the atmosphere of deregulated terror going on in a supposed democratic environment. It came as an embarrassing thing that as the show of shame was going on; the president was defending not cracking down on bandits because he is trying to avoid casualties”.
“That is an admission of the soft care for bandits by the government and pro-bandit supporters who have been poking their fingers in the faces of non-bandit Nigerians”.
It says further, “The president wasn’t aware of such caution in using maximum force against ENDSARS which they celebrated in Kaduna; It is also a demonstration of two sets of rules in the country, one for Fulani bandits and another for Non-Fulani communities who are being treated like conquered people”.
“If there is still the serious authority in Nigeria, it is people like Shekau, Gumi and troublers of Nigeria who should be under security scrutiny now and not those who have committed no offence known to a law outside raising their voices against Fulani Genocide going on across Nigeria.
“It has also come to our notice how bandits in the north are turning vehicles bringing foodstuffs to the south back in some unhidden blockage suggestive of war measures. “We just hope they know the implication if Southern communities for Instance starts to block fuel products for instance from going to the north and its attendant implications”. The group stated“They should be careful of what they are throwing as they don’t know what their opponents are holding. We appreciate the noble intervention of the Middle Belt Forum and their sense of responsibility in condemning this despicable measure.”