Being the man of the moment, many politicians are already stepping over one another to claim ‘familiarity’ with Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho and one of them is a former lawmaker, Babafemi Ojudu.
Recall that the political hired hand and Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Igboho, has been trending recently over the continuous threats of the Fulani herdsmen to destabilise the country, especially the southwestern part of Nigeria, through incessant kidnapping, maiming, killing and raping being carried out daily in their host communities.
Due to the lackadaisical and non-challant attitude of the governments in protecting their people, the cry for help finally reached the ears of Igboho, who did the unthinkable against the kinsmen of the incumbent president of the country, Mohammadu Buhari.
Igboho issued a 7-day ultimatum for the herdsmen to leave South-West.
“The consequences will be dire should they fail to do this,” Igboho said. And true to his words, there was pandemonium in Oyo State, especially in Iparapa area of the state, as the Fulani herdsmen took to their heels as Igboho, supported by the locals, chased the Fulani herdsmen out of town.
Many have written to either praise or knock Igboho for this bold step. But the latest one that stood out and kept political pundits scratching their heads was from Ojudu.
In an article titled ‘The Sunday Igboho I know!’, the former lawmaker representing Ekiti Central constituency of Ekiti State, Nigeria, in the April 2011 national elections on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria, claimed that he had once impersonated the then Assistant Inspector-General of Police during the period Mike Okiro was Inspector General of Police, in order to ensure that hoodlums didn’t influence the governorship election in Ekiti State at the time.
According to Ojudu, “It was in 2009. The Appeal Court sitting in Ilorin ordered a rerun in a number of polling units in the election between Segun Oni of PDP and Dr Kayode Fayemi of ACN.
“Oni had in the main election and the election petition tribunal that followed been declared winner of the gubernatorial contest. Our party, ACN contested this, hence the declaration of a rerun.
“The election which came three months after the Appeal Court judgement was like war. The PDP ruling at the Federal level did not want to lose Ekiti while the opposition ACN led and financed by Bola Ahmed Tinubu wanted to take Ekiti by all means.”
Buhari’s adviser on political matters claimed that he engaged Igboho on the instruction of Asiwaju Bola Tinbu to ensure that Igboho was not used to distabilise the election in the state in ensuring victory for the party back then.
“A few days to the election, we got an intelligence report that the PDP big wigs had perfected a plan to unleash thugs recruited from across Yoruba land on Ekiti. The plan was to kill and maim as many as possible, snatch ballot boxes and win by any means possible.
“Tinubu summoned me to Lagos and said Femi,”I have conducted a scientific opinion poll. You people can win this election. The only snag however is they are deploying state security as well as thugs against you. State security men we can handle (and he did creatively handled them) but how do you handle thugs?””
Ojudu suggested the thugs should be dissuaded through engagement and inducements since they are in the business only for the money and ‘not for ideological reasons’. He then reached out to both Ade Basket in Akure and Fada Geri in Ondo, who were both dreaded in political circles back then.
“We had a series of meetings with them and were able to squeeze an agreement with them that they will not make themselves available to PDP for hire. I got them to even sign documents for me that they were going to stay off Ekiti elections.”
Ojudu confessed that his biggest headache then was Sunday Igboho ‘who we learnt has been hired and paid by a Senator from Osun to come and cause mayhem in Ekiti.’
The former senator, however, boasted that through the help of Tinubu, he was able to get Igboho to play balls and even hatched a plan to impersonate the then AIG in order for him to flee the state under the guise.
According to him, since Igboho had already collected money from the opposition party, hence the need to stage a call from AIG by Ojudu to justify the former hurried exit from ‘duty’.
Ojudu, however, appealed to the governments to rein in the herders and make the forests and highways safe again.
“Let farmers be able to carry out their occupation without fear of kidnap, murder and rape. Let us find a modern and permanent solution to this issue of itinerant herding that pitches a group of Nigerians against the other. Let us not ethnicize criminality. A criminal is a criminal and a crime is a crime whether perpetrated by Fulani, Yoruba , Igbo, Ijaw, Junkun, Bachama or Ibariba,” he pleaded.