Nigeria: Yoruba Nation Rally - Sunday Igboho's Thugs Attack 'SSS Officials'

The armed thugs were seen shooting sporadically into the air as they attacked security operatives and drove through Osogbo.

Armed thugs loyal to self-styled Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, on Saturday assaulted officials believed to be from the State Security Service (SSS) on Saturday during the Yoruba Nation rally in Osogbo, Osun State.

This newspaper obtained a 21 minutes video clip of the assault on the security operatives who were maintaining order at the palace of Ataoja of Osogbo, Jimoh Olanipekun.

PREMIUM TIMES could not independently verify the identities of the officials from the video and an SSS spokesperson did not immediately respond to enquiries. But the thugs who attacked the officials could be heard calling them 'DSS' officials even as they assaulted them. The SSS is also known as DSS.

The incident occured when Mr Igboho (whose real name is Sunday Adeyemo) and armed thugs were leaving the palace of the monarch. The thugs accused the SSS officials of 'trailing' Mr Igboho.

Assault

From the video, the thugs were seen attacking the security officials. They also manhandled at least two of them. Sources within the secret police told our correspondent that some of their operatives sustained injuries from the attack.

A security official was also seen guarding his pistol while Mr Igboho's thugs mobbed him.

Residents, who said they also witnessed the incident told PREMIUM TIMES that it took the maturity and professionalism of the SSS officials for a bloody confrontation to be averted.

The thugs later drove through the streets of Osogbo, shooting sporadically into the air and urging residents not to vote in 2023.

Peter Afunnaya, the SSS spokesperson, is yet to react to enquiries from PREMIUM TIMES requesting more information or clarification.

Yemisi Opalola, the police spokesperson in the state, said she was not aware of the assault.

"I don't know what happened and I was not briefed about such," she said.

Mr Igboho did not respond to calls and text messages seeking information about what transpired on the day.

This newspaper reported that the self-styled activist on Saturday threatened to disrupt the 2023 general elections in South-west states of Nigeria.

Mr Igboho was evicted from Modakeke in Osun State in early 2000 following the crisis between NURTW members and motorcycle riders.

He worked as a political thug for former Oyo State Governor, Rashidi Ladoja, and had, in the past, been accused of land grabbing.

In January, he led a group of men to Igangan in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo state to eject the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Salihu Abdulkadir, triggering a face-off with the state and federal government.

He defied the authorities' order and proceeded to Ogun State to reportedly evict herders resident there.

Mr Igboho, on two different occasions, had claimed that security operatives tried to arrest him but the police and other security agencies denied this.

The spate of bloody clashes between herders and farmers, rising insecurity across the country and perceived injustice, have led to calls for secession from some regional groups in the country.

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