Afenifere Group in the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe has faulted the Nigerian government for linking secessionist leader, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho to terrorism.
The group in a statement on Saturday, October 23, 2021 by its Secretary, Engr. Anthony Ajayi said the move has further exposed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of giving “skewed priority to issues of national importance”.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, while reading out the findings of the Presidential Committee set up to investigate Sunday Igboho and the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu on Friday, October 22, 2021, linked Igboho to a Boko Haram sponsor, Surajo Muhammad, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the United Arab Emirates for financing terrorism.
The committee was made up of personnel of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Information, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).
The group accused the Nigerian Government of plotting to change the narratives against Igboho in their quest to silence him and other Nigerians for exercising their rights.
The group said, “The development is a sad one at this time of Nigeria’s history. Over these years, terrorists, Boko Haram, bandits, herdsmen and unknown gunmen have invaded Nigeria, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens and are still killing daily yet none of them has been arrested and prosecuted.
“Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has been holding meetings and making utterances against the Nigerian state for the bandits yet he has not been linked to terrorism nor arrested and prosecuted.
“These are the same bandits who are carrying Ak-47s, submachine guns, general missile processor vehicles and anti-aircraft guns. These are the same bandits who have declared an Islamic state and are holding territories and collecting taxes in the North. These are the same bandits who attacked and killed Nigerian soldiers at the Nigerian Defence Academy. These are the same bandits who shoot down Air force jets. These are the same bandits who are kidnapping schoolchildren for ransom. These are the same bandits who bomb and destroy rail tracks and trains built with heavily borrowed funds. These are the same bandits who are killing and raping women in their homes and farms and sacking villages. Yet, Gumi is a free man in Nigeria while Igboho who only resisted herdsmen’s incessant attacks on his people, thereby agitating for self-rule because he had lost hope in Nigeria in 2020, is being linked to terrorism.
“The United Arab Emirates has jailed a number of Northerners found to be financiers of Boko Haram and also published names of some sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria. Why has the government not investigated and prosecuted them？
“The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said publicly some days ago that terrorists who tried to overthrow him are in Northern Nigeria. Why did the government not set up a committee to investigate this？
“Is the Nigerian government saying that because Igboho transferred over N12 million business money through a registered Bureau De Change operated by Surajo Muhammad, that made him a terrorist financier？ Is the Nigerian government also saying that anyone who had transferred money through Surajo Muhammad’s Bureau De Change firm is a terrorist financier？
“Injustice like this has been the bane of agitations for self-rule in Nigeria. The government needs to wake up to tackle the real problems of Nigeria because we do not see how Igboho constituted a threat to the country.
“We as Yoruba people have our values. We are the Omoluabis. We do not compromise values. Our values do not include violence or killing people.
“We are not in support of secession from Nigeria. We want to further protect our values through a restructured Nigeria.”