Sunday Igboho’s delayed return linked to 2023 elections


Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, may not return to Nigeria until after the 2023 general elections.

A source in Abuja told newsmen on Sunday night that both the government and some powerful politicians were working to stall his entry.

Last week, at Bishop Ajayi Crowther’s posthumous birthday celebration in Ibadan, Oyo State, Igboho hinted he would be back shortly.

“I thank you all for your support. By God’s grace, the Fulani’s herdsmen activities against our people will end in our land.

“The Yoruba Nation will soon be achieved and it will be better than all the nations in the world.

“Our agitation is an idea whose time has come. I will come back to Yorubaland soon”, he declared via Zoom.

There is a projection that Igbojo’s return would heat up the polity, particularly in the South-West region.

Igboho caused a stir in January 2021 when he issued a quit notice to Fulanis in Oyo. He accused them of murder and kidnappings.

“He won’t come back now, maybe anytime after the elections have been decided.

“His return would create a charged atmosphere and re-ignite the agitation and protests.

“The government is dealing with a lot already and would not allow this to happen…not with Buhari still in power.

“Apart from that, Igboho’s presence in Nigeria will affect the presidential ambition of who we all know.

“He cannot afford anything that will jeopardize his ambition, or create a clash with the North,” the source said.

In March 2022, the Benin Republic authorities released Igboho from prison to his doctors.

His lawyer, Yomi Alliyu announced a standing pact that he should not leave Cotonou for any reason.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said Yoruba leaders, Prof. Wole Soyinka and Prof. Banji Akintoye, played a major role in the deal.

It was gathered that the Nigerian and Beninise governments agreed that the activist’s exit would be jointly authorized.

After his conditional release from prison, Igboho made a revelation at a meeting with members of his legal team.

The agitator told them that Nigeria “used all her power” to try to get its neighbor to hand him over.

“Nigeria requested for me to be handed over to them by the Beninese Government. So, President Talon said he wanted to investigate me.

“He said if it is about politics and human rights, it is against the law for them to hand me over to the Nigerian government,” he said.

Hours after his arrest, it was reported the Buhari administration’s move to repatriate Igoho to face charges.

Tukur Buratai, former Chief of Army Staff and the country’s ambassador to Benin, reportedly made the request.

Igboho and his wife, Ropo, were arrested on July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport as they headed to Germany.

The 50-year-old was first detained at the Brigade économique et financière (BEF), and later Prison Civile de Cotonou (Cotonou Civil Prison).