The pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has denied comparing the embattled Yoruba nation agitator Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho) with Prophet Muhammed (SAW) in its last statement hailing the Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and Olubadan of Ibadan Oba Saliu Adetunji for their solidarity for Igboho.
The statement by its National Publicity Secretary Mr Jare Ajayi, read: “Our attention has been drawn to the mischievous and unfounded insinuation making the rounds on what Afenifere said on Mr Sunday Igboho, the Yoruba nation agitator who is presently on trial in Benin Republic.
“We like to state very clearly that Afenifere never made such comparison nor implied it in any form. Afenifere, the Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, has people of different faiths in its fold. Muslim members occupy eminent positions in the organisation like adherents of other faiths.
To set the record straight, we hereby present the circumstance that gave birth to the unfounded insinuation.
“On Monday, July 25, 2021, we issued a statement in which we lauded Olubadan of Ibadan, Ooni of Ife and other Obas for sending delegations to Cotonou in the wake of Sunday Igboho’s trial.
In the statement, an illusion was made to the condemnation being hauled at Igboho ‘for running away’ from Nigeria.
The relevant paragraphs read as follow:
“It is so sad that President Muhammadu Buhari administration is concentrating on hunting and harassing those who are seeking relief from the oppressive situation in Nigeria while shying away from tackling the menaces of kidnapping, terrorism and antics bordering on ethnic cleansing”.
On the propriety of Sunday Igboho trying to escape abroad, Afenifere maintained that there is nothing strange or wrong with this adding that history is replete with conveyors of a new order having to seek refuge outside their immediate environment at least for a time.
“We recall that Moses had to be taken away from the prying eyes of Pharaoh and his agents in Egypt. Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w) too had to leave his hometown, Mecca for Medina in order to escape persecution. Thus, there is nothing wrong in Igboho seeking a respite first to preserve his life and perhaps to re-strategize.
Afenifere under Chief Adebanjo accused the federal government of going after freedom agitators while neglecting those who are known to be behind terrorism in the country.’
“From the above, it could be seen that the reference made to the two Prophets, Moses and Muhammad (s.a.w) was in the context of seeking refuge from persecution. No reference whatsoever, in form of comparison, to the persons of the highly referred Prophets and Igboho as there was absolutely no reason for such.
“Various media used the story. None, except Sahara Reporters, came up with a headline that was clearly sensational and libelous. In none of other media platforms, especially traditional media, did such insinuation appear. Indeed, the body of the story published by Sahara Reporters has no bearing with the sensational and unprofessional headline it cast.
“Its handling of the story was so condemnable that it had even pulled it down from its platform – with apology. If it were sure of the veracity of its report, why pulling it down – with apology?
“The conduct of Sahara Reporters in this case is saddening in view of the efforts being made to ensure that the media is not gagged.
Giving the recognition members of Afenifere have for all religious faiths and the high regards we have for Prophets of God, there is no way we would liken an individual to these prophets, least of all, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).”