The Department of State Services (DSS) has launched a manhunt for Sunday Igboho, Yoruba activist, after he escaped arrest when they raided his residence in Oyo state.
Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesman, said the security agency recovered illegal arms — including seven AK-47 rifles — and thousands of ammunition from Igboho’s house.
The agency also paraded 13 supporters of the activist, who allegedly attacked DSS operatives during the raid on Thursday morning.
Igboho, a known Yoruba youth leader, has been agitating for the creation of ‘Yoruba Nation’. He had planned to hold a rally in Lagos on Saturday to drive home his secessionist objectives, before his house was raided.
Afunanya said the DSS operatives killed two people at Igboho’s house during a gun duel between the agency and the latter’s supporters.
He said the raid was based on intelligence that the youth leader “had stockpiled arms in the place”. “On approach to the residence, the team came under heavy gun attack by nine men, suspected to be Igboho’s guards. Six of them were armed with AK-47 guns and three others with pump-action rifles,” he said.
“In the course of the exchange, two of Igboho’s armed men were gunned down while the rest were subdued and arrested. Only one operative who was shot by the assailants on his right hand sustained injury. He has, however, received medical attention and is very stable.”
He said the DSS team subsequently searched the house and recovered arms, ammunition, charms, foreign currency notes, laptops, among other items.
“Aside from the items recovered from the building, about 13 suspects, including 12 males and one female were arrested and brought to Abuja,” he said.
“Sunday Igboho and his group, in the guise of campaign for self-determination, have become well-armed and determined to undermine public order. The arrests and seizures are, no doubt, a confirmation of a grand plan by Igboho and his cohorts to wage a violent insurrection against the Nigerian state.
“The gun duel, which lasted for an hour, offered Igboho the chance to escape. Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a., Sunday Igboho, is now on the run. Igboho may run as far as he can. He may hide as long as he wants.
“He might have attacked security operatives as his strength carried him, but this will be the end of his shenanigans. Soon, he will not have a hiding place. His strength will sure fail him, and the law will catch up with him. The law may be slow. But it will be steady.
“Consequently, Adeyemo or Igboho is advised to turn himself in to the nearest security agency. Those cheering and eulogising him may appeal to or advise him to do the needful. He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law. Meanwhile, those arrested will be charged accordingly.”