Recent attacks on two offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in two states of the South-West have caused residents to wonder what might have caused the attacks.
An attack on an INEC office is strange and very unusual for people who live in the South-West.
Many INEC offices have been burned down by unknown people in other parts of Nigeria, especially in the South-East.
Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have been blamed for many of the attacks. This is because the group has kept pushing for an independent country and has said no to the elections in 2023.
Since the fires on Tuesday in Osun and Ogun, some Nigerians have thought that supporters of the Yoruba Nation, who have been saying that there won’t be elections in Yorubaland in 2023, might be behind the fires.
Like IPOB activists, Oodua Republic activists have said there will be no elections.
Sunday Igboho, who calls himself a Yoruba freedom fighter, and Olayomi Koiki, who is his spokesman, have said since 2021 that there will be no elections next year.
Sunday Igboho has been quieter since what happened in Benin Republic, but he recently said that there is no turning back on Yoruba Nation.
“I, Sunday Adeyemo, and everyone who agrees with me on the Yoruba Nation issue, can’t go back. People say that we’ve stopped asking for Yoruba nation, but that’s not true. It’s just a rumor that hasn’t been proven. We would like Yoruba Nation.
“I want you, the Yoruba monarchs, to call a meeting and get together. You can see that our people are being killed everywhere, and this is not good. Please help us by getting together, and may you live long. “There is no going back, Yoruba Nation,” he said.
In March 2022, a group called Yoruba One Voice (YOV) said that the 2023 general elections were not on its list of goals. Instead, it wanted the Yoruba nation to be able to decide for itself.
In May, a group called Yoruba Referendum Committee (Agbajoowo la fi n soya) asked lawmakers in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, and Ekiti States to pass the Bill for a Referendum, which they said had already been sent to them twice.
Prof. Banji Akintoye, who is in charge of the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement (YSDM), recently said that he was hopeful that Yoruba Nation would be made before the elections in February and March 2023.
Our reporter heard that with less than four months until the elections, some people who want a sovereign state but haven’t seen any signs that it will happen could have turned to self-defense.
Professor Akintoye hinted that the young people involved in the struggle want their own independent country by saying, “I know that young people want to jump now. But their elders kept them from jumping by telling them to wait and not to jump yet.
Akintoye also said that the mission for Yoruba independence is made up of about 200 groups.
“There are a lot of groups fighting with us. They have as many as 200. We did that on purpose from the start. Let there be a lot of groups, and don’t let the government figure out who is who. “That’s why we helped a lot of our young people start their own groups,” he said.
Earlier in October, a group led by the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF) warned that people from the Yoruba Nation were supposedly planning to cause violence and chaos in the South-West.
At a press conference in Lagos State, the National Coordinator of YAF, Adesina Animashaun, said that the goal of the secessionists was to figure out how to speed up the process of the general elections in 2023.
He said that some angry people in the South-West were doing secret things to start “killings, arson, and mayhem” that would hurt the voting process and end up cutting short next year’s elections all over the country.
He said that the violence was planned to happen at the same time that political parties were running for office in the six South-West States. He said that the goal was to “reenact the arson and killings that happened during the unfortunate “Operation Wetie” violence” in the First Republic.
“It looks like the security agencies didn’t take the warning from the YAF group seriously, and that led to what we saw last week in the INEC offices in Ogun and Osun,” a source told DAILY POST.
You may remember that some Yoruba Nation activists recently attacked soldiers in the Ota area of Ogun. They took an officer’s gun and hurt him as well.
A senior security worker in the South West told our reporter that the main people to blame for the bad thing are from the Yoruba Nation.
He said that the fact that both INEC offices were set on fire at the same time and on the same day was no accident. He remembered that gasoline-soaked loaves of bread were used to set fire to the two.
“This is really a coordinated attack by those who don’t want the elections in 2023 to happen. They can see that everything is getting ready for the election, but they don’t know how to stop it.
“Politicians won’t go burn voter registration cards because they know it would hurt their own voters. They will find another way to change the results of elections, the security officer said, speaking anonymously because he is not allowed to talk to the press.
Alhaji Ola Animashaun, a public commentator, said that anything could have been done to start the fire.
But Animashaun wants the people in charge of security to dig deep to find out who was behind the attacks.
“In Nigerian politics, including Ogun State, nothing is impossible and everything is possible.
“But I don’t want to be too restrictive when I say that I think politicians should be “x-rayed” in this case. But there could also be anti-democratic “fifth columnists” working for some reason that is hard to figure out.
“I think that people looking into the Ogun/Osun (Ede) INEC area offices fire disaster shouldn’t forget about the 2023 desperadoes. Animashaun said that some people, inside or outside of INEC, are in what can be called “desperate mode,” whether it was planned or not.
Chief Dapo Adeyemi, a political leader in Ogun State, said that he thought the attacks might have been done by politicians who don’t like how well-liked they are among the voters.
“This isn’t the first time that INEC buildings have been burned down or attacked. Even though the most recent attacks took place in the South-West, I’m not sure they were done by people trying to stir up trouble in the Yoruba Nation.
Adeyemi said, “It’s clear that the recent attack was politically motivated, and this is where security agencies should work to find the arsonists and find out who paid them.”
Actions are taken by INEC and security agencies
At an emergency meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Friday to talk about the simultaneous attacks on INEC offices in Abeokuta South of Ogun and Ede South of Osun, it was decided that security agencies would get better at gathering, sharing, and using intelligence to stop more sabotage.
The meeting was led by the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd). The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, and representatives from the Armed Forces were also there.
At the emergency meeting, it was decided that from now on, joint Security and Safety Teams would be sent to all INEC assets and facilities across the country.
DAILY POST found out that the police, army, DSS, civil defense, the Federal Fire Service, and other groups would be on the teams.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Modibbo A. Alkali (rtd), National Commissioner and Chairman, Security Committee of INEC, said that the meeting asked Nigerians to keep helping INEC and the security agencies to make sure the 2023 General Election is peaceful and safe.
Primate Ayodele to Buhari: Talk to the separatists if you want peaceful elections.
Primate Elijah Ayodele, the leader of the INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, has told President Muhammadu Buhari that he should talk to IPOB and Yoruba nation activists in order to keep the peace during the 2023 election.
Ayodele said that now is the best time “to avoid the planned crisis that will affect the general elections in 2023.”