By Olasumbo Apanpa
Sunday Igboho’s experience in Cotonou reminds me how most Nigerians have lost all “Sense and Sensibility” for right living, and the rule of law. Nigerians have become so used to criminals openly showcasing their rewards from crimes.
Nigerians have become used to lawbreakers parading as agitators and ethnic champions, and used to having rogues and thugs as political leaders! When did we get here? The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) years birthed the worst set of leaders as political leaders, but I will give a few examples from the South West only.
To achieve his aim of removing Governor Rasheed Ladoja, then President Olusegun Obasanjo used a known political kingpin, late Lamidi Adedibu, to get thugs to storm the House of Assembly then, and Ladoja was history.
Thus began the reign of Adedibu. Sunday Igboho was one of Adedibu’s boys and he learnt from the master. But those two got away with their criminalities all in the name of politics, as we had a compromised police force and a judiciary armstrung by the executive.
Peter Fayose also took thugs to the courts in Ekiti to beat up the judge and vandalize the whole place, to stop the court from giving judgement against him, as he knew he had a compromised win. This was during Jonathan’s era as President. Of course, nothing was done to Fayose, and though the judiciary in Ekiti then went on strike, the Chief Justice was forced to come and swear-in Fayose as governor.
So fast forward to 2020, and a Sunday Igboho shows up to mouth lies about a Fulani invasion of Yoruba land and how he is their messiah”! No questions were asked about his antecedents which are well-known, but out of hatred for Buhari, some Yorubas lined up behind a known PDP thug and hired assassin, and started clapping for his every move.
Of course the shameless band of old fools in Afenifere started courting him. Sunday Igboho then practically declared himself ruler over Yoruba land. He first gave notice for Fulanis to relocate from the Igangan area of Ibarapa, after which he went to forcefully evict defenceless people including women and children from Igangan, just because they are Fulanis.
His “people” clapped for him and edged him on. Those of us who refused to back or support his criminality and unlawful ways were tagged “bastards” or Fulani slaves! Sunday Igboho then went to Seme border to drive away Customs officials there, declaring that he has opened the border!
As who you may ask, President of Nigeria? But he was getting away with all the criminalities because of our compromised Police force, who had been made useless by years of PDP rule through corruption. Sunday Igboho also fooled his supporters by making them believe that he has supernatural powers that works for him against being caught by law enforcement agencies! If you say only illiterates can be that gullible, then I will tell you scores of highly-educated people at home and abroad who believed him, and even donated to his fake cause.
Then DSS struck and their “messiah “ran from the law to Benin Republic. He thought it was business as usual, so he paid for a forged Beninoise passport to help him escape to Germany with his wife, where he was caught at the airport. His stupid and ignorant Nigerian lawyers did not even realise the trouble he had gotten himself into, as they were busy shouting and fighting against his extradition to Nigeria, which they thought was the used.
Then the Beninois judiciary slammed their senses with the charges against Igboho! Entering their country by illegal means, he should identify those who harboured him, got him the country’s passport, and drove him to the airport! The lawyers were shocked, as the judges said they were serious offences, reiterating that Igboho came to the country to commit heinous crimes and to most probably incite the populace against the government.
So they sent him to prison, refusing any application for bail from his lawyers. Benin Republic, a small and poor country by all standards thus showed us how to have “Sense and Sensibilities” for doing right, also that we should condemn any wrongdoings from any quarters.
Our ideas of right and wrong are all too often compromised by our ethnic and religious sensibilities, which we have taken to be acceptable standard for living. Benin Republic just showed us how backward and uncivilized we are actually, as only a backward and uncivilized populace embrace criminals as leaders!
This article was written by Olasumbo Apanpa Ph.D