The Oyo State Police Command on Tuesday said it was pursuing yet unidentified hoodlums who set ablaze Sunday Igboho’s house in Ibadan.
Channels Television earlier reported that the house of Igboho, the man at the centre of the recent eviction controversy in Oyo State, had been razed in the early hours of Tuesday.
“At about 0620 hrs of today 26/01/2021, report was received at Santo Police Station that some unidentified hoodlums came to Sunday Igboho’s house at SOKA area of Ibadan in a Hummer bus and Micra firing sporadically, and set the house ablaze,” the police said.
READ ALSO: Hoodlums Set Sunday Igboho’s House On Fire
“The mini sitting room got burnt in the process while amount of other properties is yet to be estimated.
“Immediately the DPO Sanyo got wind of the incident, he contacted Fire service while he also went to the scene for on the spot assessment.
“The fire was eventually put out.
“Investigation has commenced into the incident while the Police is on the trail of the hoodlums.”
Mr. Igboho, an Oyo indigene, has been a prominent figure in the recent tensions between herders and the local community in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State.
He had issued a quit notice to the herders over allegations of kidnappings, killings, rape, and other violent activities.
The ultimatum expired last week and Igboho held a massive rally in the community after which some houses and properties in the herder’s settlements were torched, according to the police.
“Following the fear of threats to public peace, occasioned by the inciting pronouncement of Chief Sunday Adeyemo, A.K.A Sunday Igboho, the Oyo State Police Command jointly with the Operation Burst had embarked on visibility/confidence building patrol of the areas concerned,” the police said in a statement on Saturday.
“Sadly, the relative peace and calmness, being enjoyed, due to the visibility patrols of the Security Agencies were truncated by the visit of Sunday Igboho to Igangan, at about 16:30hrs [4:30 pm] on 22nd January 2021.
“The visit had culminated in a mob action by some youths in the town, who, armed with different types of weapons, embarked on arson and a breach of peace. In the process, grievous hurt was committed against one of the police officers, while discharging his statutory duties.”
On Monday, South-West leaders met with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to “find lasting solutions to the incessant killings, kidnapping, and crises between herdsmen and farmers in the Southwest geo-political zone of the country.”
After the meeting, all parties agreed to ban night grazing and under-age herding.
The illegal occupation of State Forest Reserves was also condemned at the meeting.
Speaking on Tuesday after the house went up in flames, Igboho said properties worth N50 million has been lost to the inferno.
He said the arsonists broke the gate to the building to gain entrance before setting the house on fire.
He added that the two people living in the house fled for their lives in the chaos.
“Around 03:30 am this morning, my siblings living in my old house came to alert me that some hoodlums were at the house, shooting sporadically, and that they had forced the gate open and set the house ablaze,” he said.
“My siblings escaped unhurt but my house was burnt. When we got there, the hoodlums had escaped so we called the fire service to put out the fire.
“I am surprised that some Yoruba people could be supporting killer herdsmen to destroy my house. This saddens me.
“My agitations are for all of us to come together against killer herdsmen who have been terrorizing the Yorubas by kidnapping, killing our brothers, and raping our women in Yoruba Land.
“To my amazement, some Yoruba people are aiding these killer herdsmen.
I expected them to come and attack my residence where I live now to show that they mean business.
“I assure you if they had, I would have been able to give you evidence of the hoodlums that did this.
“The property destroyed in that inferno would not be less than fifty million.”
‘Politicians Out To Discredit Me’
Igboho on Tuesday also responded to comments that he was a political thug for hire.
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojodu on Monday has published a piece describing how he, Ojodu, had intervened to convince Igboho from disrupting an Ekiti governorship election in 2009.
But Igboho said he does not know Ojodu.
“I have noticed that the agitations that I am championing over the killer Fulani herdsmen is being politicised to malign and weaken me,” he said.
“Those politicians are lying. All the claims of that man called Babafemi Ojudu are all lies. I have nothing to do with him. I do not know him.
“Until those killer herdsmen leave our father’s land, I will not rest. There is no politician funding me for these agitations.
“Since the killer herdsmen have been killing and kidnapping our people in Ibarapa, no one or government visited the place until I went to expose the havoc being wreaked on our people. No one or group came to their rescue in Ibarapa until I went there.
“I have to go because they are my family, I have the same tribal marks with Mr Aborode who was killed by these killer herdsmen.
“I challenge any politician who claims to fund me to come out openly and say so.
“What I want is for peace to reign in Yoruba land.”