•Reveals The Story Of His Life
He is a popular grassroots politician in Yorubaland. He lives in Ibadan, Oyo State. Many have heard his name before, but only very few have actually met him in real life. This is because Sunday Igboho is not only popular in politics, he wields considerable influence across the South-West. He is also a power broker in politics because there is hardly any notable politician he does not know across the South West. He is well connected to governors, senators, ministers and big shots in all the political parties from Lagos to Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, name it. And that is why his name and exploits have travelled far and near. That is why his name opens doors. Just mention Sunday Igboho anywhere across the South West and you will be told he is a great mobiliser of men who all the top politicians activate. They always want him on their side because whether it is in Osogbo, Ife, Ibadan, Lagos, Ekiti, Akure, Sunday Igboho can mobilize a lot of boys that can do his bidding in matters of seconds. He is close to the leadership of all the unions.
Though everybody calls him Sunday Igboho, his real name is Sunday Adeyemo. He is from a town called Igboho in Oyo State. So he is nick-named after his home town.
What has made him even more popular is the fact that he is a very tough guy. He is fearless and a no-nonsense person who has over the years been very loyal to which ever group he belongs.
For instance he has for years been a great supporter of ex-Oyo governor, Rasheed Ladoja. Since he was governor and he has not waivered since then. Anywhere Ladoja goes, he goes. When Ladoja left PDP for Accord, he too left and he has been with him through thick and thin. Once when they was a threat to Ladoja’s life at a rally during a campaign in Ondo State, Sunday Igboho took charge and saved the day. Within the twinkle of an eye he mobilized about 1,000 boys who stormed the venue and restored sanity to the place. And a lot of top PDP leaders had to scamper for safety. OBJ who was the sitting president at that time had to also have to be quickly taken away to safety.
That single incident made Sunday Igboho’s reputation as a fearless and courageous grassroots politician grew big. He is tough by nature. Nothing scares him. He is never afraid to square up with anybody. He is not afraid of anyone.
And there is nobody he can’t stand up to , especially when the issue of injustice is involved. What he hates must is for a stronger or powerful person in society to oppress or chat an ordinary person. Whenever he hears, he usually will take up the case and confront the big man cornered. That is why he has helped so many people reclaim their land across the South West. And so he is an activist, a defender of the defendless. He likes to fight for other peoples causes, even at the threat to his life. He likes to defend the underdog. That is why whenever he is in town, his house is usually a Mecca of sorts for both the high and mighty, for both the rich and the poor who have been oppressed by other people in society.
Every day, people go to him with their loads of problems for him to help. And he does. He helps. He helps them right the wrong as done them. That is why he has a huge followership. Many people began to respect him more when he had a big house opening ceremony a few years ago and every top politician and political leader who matter in the South West attended. It was a roll call of who-is-who in South West politics and beyond, from PDP, Accord, APC, CNC came big wigs, all to honour this strongman of Ibadan politics whose tentacles spand beyond Ibadan and whose influence transcends parties. He has friends across political parties.
He is also close to the Nigerian Police High Command. He has built a strong relationship with all those who have been Police IGs in the last 10 years or so in Nigeria and knows all the DIGs, AIGs and CPS across the South West and beyond. He is like their boy.
Though Sunday Igboho wields a lot of influence he does not show it. If you meet him for the first time you will most likely underrate him because he is usually cool and calm, until you step on his toes and you will now see that though he has a small stature, he is mighty and larger than life. On his phone, he has the telephone numbers of all those who matter in Nigeria. And he is just a few minutes away from them, with his phone.
Just mention Sunday Igboho to any grassroot politician and you will be told he is a popular grassroot politician and mobiliser. His name rings a bell in Ibadan, Osogbo, Ife, Ekiti, Akure, Ogun and even Lagos.
This is because since 1999 he has built a formidable political structure that is awesome. He has something of a cult followership. He remains one of the few political mobilisers that can call out about 500 boys at the snap of a finger in any part of the South-West, especially Oyo State. He also has deep links with other political leaders across the South West, so much so that when he arrives any major city across the South West he knows who to liaise with to call out and mobilise the boys in that area. He has built a formidable reputation for being fearless, tough and unbending. And in recent past he has encountered all the big names in the major political parties in the South West. His name has become a big brand that evokes fear and respect, all over.
Not too long ago, City People’s Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE spent an evening with Sunday Igboho at his old house in Ibadan and he told his story.
LET US GIVE BUHARI MORE TIME
How do you see the state of the nation since Pres. Buhari came in last year May?
I can’t say much because he is not yet a year old in office. Buhari has not spent a year so it will be unfair to start assessing him now. Let us still give him some time. It is too early to start critising him now. He needs time. We all know Buhari. He has been head of state before so we know that what he is capable of doing.
He promised a lot when he was coming in. So, we can’t judge him, we all knew him before he came in. His government is different from Baba Obasanjo and ex-President Jonathan. PDP has been there for more than 16 years before we began to shout.
Let us give him some time to show us what he wants to do. Lets give him about 2 years. A term is 4 years. Lets take it easy with him, lets give him time before we begin to assess him. Let us give him some patience. I believe if we give him time everything can change and things will be okay.
I know Buhari is difficult to control. And I also believe he won’t do things that people will not like. He knows the whole world is focussing on him. That is why he is travelling abroad looking for support. So let’s give him time.
WHY JONATHAN LOST TO BUHARI
How did you see the elections that brought in Buhari? Did you think Buhari would have won?
That election was normal. He was voted for. Remember that Jonathan too congratulated him. That was why nobody went to court against Buhari because the elections was okay.
Why did PDP lose the way it did?
Why PDP lost was because they had become so xxx. It broke into pieces. Look, Obasanjo left, Oyinlola left. All the strongmen in PDP left. All the big shots left because they could not resolve the issues amongst them. There was a lot of personal rivalries. I want to be this. You want to be that. All these led to bitter fights. Oyinlola was National Secretary they took it from him and gave another person. They gave Wale Ladipo. Those are the issues. Meanwhile, Oyinlola is like a son to Obasanjo.
Obasanjo feels once you have removed Oyinlola, you have removed him. Segun Oni was also removed then. That is why the party crashed. There was no assurance that PDP would have won the election we had before.
Do you think they can bounce back?
They can ooo. They are meeting they have come to see Baba Ladoja. About a month ago they came to see Ladoja to beg. They have gone to beg Baba Obasanjo and Oyinlola. They have gone to meet Saraki that they should all come together and form a new big party like before. By 2019, if they can all come they will bounce back. They need to do all these things they are doing before 2019. There has to be a lot of settlement before 2019 if not, there would be problems. If they continue like they are doing now there is the assurance that it will lead to a good result.
WHY I AM A LADOJA MAN
Let’s talk about your role in politics. You are a Ladoja man and you have been consistent with him. Why?
That is me. I am a very loyal person. I don’t like disloyalty. I believe once you become disloyal to your boss you are not worth anything. Everybody knows Sunday Igboho will never be disloyal to anybody or any cause. I am consistent. Many people have invited me. The APC people have invited me to come over and join them, the PDP too.
But nooo, I won’t go. Let me remain where I am. I don’t know it is all about. I don’t know how to be PDP in the morning and APC at night like some people do. That is why I have remained steadfast. I am with the same set of people I started with from the scratch.
If there is going to be the last person there, it will be me. I won’t leave Accord Party unless those I support say they are leaving. If my Ogas say they are leaving I can follow them. But if they are not leaving I will not leave I am right behind Ladoja.
I won’t change. I am solidly behind Ladoja. I am a Ladoja supporter to the core. When Ladoja refused to move anywhere then I was with him too. So, for us, there is no going back unless he tells us where to go. Immediately, Ladoja went into Accord Party I also became a party member immediately. I followed him straight to Accord Party in Oyo State and we have been there ever since.
If Ladoja leaves Accord tomorrow and says its Toyota we are going too I will follow him. If Ladoja leaves Accord tomorrow and moves into a party called Nissan, it is Nissan we would go into. He is my Oga. He is my father. Everyone knows Sunday Igboho is Ladoja’s son. Anywhere Ladoja goes I go.
Why are you that loyal to him?
With Ladoja you know where you belong. He won’t lie to you. If Ladoja tells you tomorrow it will rain and if it rains I will give you a pail of water from what he saves, he will give you. He won’t lie to you whatever Ladoja won’t do, he won’t tell you I will do. People always say Ladoja is stingy, he is not stingy to me at all. He has never owned me.
He kept to all our agreements when we were still actively doing politics. He never owed me. I used to collect money for security at that time and he was not owing me. I won’t lie against him unless I want to offer God. So, what else do I want? I like to stay with sincere people. I like to work for sincere people. He stands by the truth all the time. That is why I stand by him.
WHY I WENT INTO POLITICS
How did you start politics?
It’s a long story. I have been in Osun since 1985 with my dad. I used to follow my daddy to political meetings in Modakeke the. But when I now returned to Ibadan, in 1999, it was in the days of AD. Baba Obasanjo became the President I was with late Baba Lam then. I was playing politics with him. I used to follow him then, and I was loyal.
Before I started following him, we initially quarrelled oooo. It was after a fight that we now came together. But once I decided to join, they accepted me. Governor Ajimobi had no position then. When we wanted to have the elections of Baba Lam in 2003 that Ajimobi came out to be a Senator then.
And he won. Baba Lam lost. I stayed back. Later late Baba Adedibu now declared war on Baba Ladoja. That was when they forcefully took over power from us and rigged us out. Baba now began to fight Ladoja. The fight was bitter. It was intense. I was already well known as a tough guy behind Lam then. The problem now became so much for Ladoja and all the thugs had moved to Baba Adedibu’s side, and they were disturbing Ladoja all over town.
Someone now told Ladoja that there is a tough guy who can tackle all these thugs with Adedibu. And once they hear his name they will be scared of him Ladoja asked who is he? They said one Sunday Igboho. That he is with Lam at that time, but that they can invite him over for discussions.
So, they came to meet Baba Lam. Baba now called me. He said Sunday, my aburo, Rashidi, came to meet me that he wants you to work with. Will you work with him? I said Baba I will abide by anything you say sir.
That was how Baba Lam handed me over to him. That is how I started following Ladoja since then. That is how I became a politician with him. It was Ladoja that introduced me to the likes of Gov. Mimiko, Gov. Fayose and others. Ladoja was the one who invited me to his house in Apapa and handed me over to Fayose that he wants me to work with Fayose.
Ladoja was the one who invited me to his house in Bodija and handed me over to Gov. Mimiko. Anywhere Ladoja does not tell me to go I don’t go. Ladoja was the one who told me to go and meet Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in his house at Bourdillon when Tinubu said he wanted to see me. Ladoja was the one who gave me Asiwaju’s number that I should call him and go and see him at Bourdillon. And Asiwaju was nice to me then. The agreement we reached he fulfilled it we wanted to hold elections then and he said he needed my support on the election so that everything can go on smoothly. And I gave them the support and he was nice to me then. And everything went well the way he wanted.
And since Ladoja asked me to move away from Tinubu and come back to him, I obeyed. I complied. Anything he says I should do, I do. If he says stand I stand, sit I sit. That is how my relationship with Ladoja has been.
Ladoja is the one that made me know all those big, big, men, all those politicians. Ladoja was the one who introduced me to former Osun Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola in Osun, when they hijacked the government from Ladoja in Oyo State then and there was so much trouble and Baba Adedibu wrote petitioned against me than that I was the one causing trouble in Ibadan. He wanted me out of the scene so that they could deal with Ladoja. He and Obasanjo wanted Ladoja out at all cost and Adedibu unleashed his area boys to keep harassing Ladoja all over Ibadan. Ibadan was hot then.
Ladoja now advised that I should move to Oyinlola in Osun State then. That is how I relocated back to Osogbo, so, I started following Oyinlola.
Oyinlola too is nice. He is a nice man. He pays me monthly without fail. He never owes me. He also gives me more occasionally he gives me commissions. He will call me Oloye come over, I have this for you. I built about 15 houses in Osun then. I was tieing down the monies to projects because politics can go anytime. And one has to eat. There are kids to take care of. I am happily married. So, as I was making the money then I was building houses and properties. I am into real estate a lot
Up till now, I am still close to Oyinlola. He is not someone to be forgotten so soon. He is a good man.
Your name reverberates across the South West. How come? Everywhere you go, you will hear Sunday Igboho. How did you achieve that?
HOW I BECAME VERY POPULAR
Let me tell you my story. I was born and bred in Igboho town here in Oyo State. After I was born there, I read a bit. My dad was a poor man, Talaka. He was a Babalawo, my mum too didn’t have much. After I finished secondary school, I could not raise funds to go further. I had to go and learn a trade, as an apprentice. During the time I was learning a trade, the traditionalists and the people who are into masquerades, (we have a lot of traditionalists in my family) used to fight with me then spiritually because I am a Christian. My name is Sunday. My daddy too is a Christian. At times when I am coming from church, they will say they want to do Oro celebration in broad daylight. And I would want to go to church. We would then start fighting. I was always fighting them.
The constant fights now became unbearable. My grandfather now asked me to move to Modakeke to meet my dad and go and be living with him, that he was tired of all the wahala I was having with the traditional worshippers.
That was how I began to live in Modakeke in 1985. I was in Modakeke for years. When the Modakeke-Ife clash broke out in 1987 I took part in the fight. I fought in the crisis and God was on my side I was a big actor in the fight. Many people died. After the war, I had to move back. I could no longer continue to olive in Modakeke to avoid reprisals.
I moved to Ibadan, Oyo State. Since I relocated to Ibadan I have been lucky. I have met so many big men I have worked closely with. Though ex-Governor Ladoja I have met so many prominent politicians across the South West. He keeps introducing them to me for me to help their political campaigns, there is no South-West State that I don’t have contacts. I even have contacts in Kaduna. I have contact in Kogi State. In Ondo State, Ogun, Ekiti, all those states I have met and worked with all those governors. Ladoja introduced me to all their governors. If I can’t make any of the jobs they asked me to do I will send my boys to go and work with them.
Many of my boys are in charge of their security. We give them support. We handle their personal security. And God has blessed me on this job. I do all I do in good faith. I am a very loyal person. I don’t backbite. I do all I do in truth. If I am for you, I am for you 100%. If I am not I won’t pretend at all. You will know. I will tell you, I can never be disloyal. I am not into 419. I will never ever do 419. I don’t steal. I will never ever steal. I know my right and I stand on it.
If I am with you I will be loyal not just 100% but 101%. I can be over-loyal as long as you play your own part of the deal. Whatever you don’t ask me to do I won’t do. I am as simple of ABC. That is why God answers my prayers. That is how my name became big.
Everywhere you turn it is Sunday Igboho. I help many people I am close too. Once I am close to you now I will defend you if anybody tries to cheat you anywhere. I fight for the masses. I always defend the underdog. I will rise up and say No. I won’t allow you to oppress or cheat this man or woman, I will turn it into a big wahala and the newspapers will carry our story. I have fought so many battles for people I don’t know even now. I stand on Justice. That was why I became known within so short a time.
WHY I AM LOYAL TO LADOJA
Why are you so loyal to Ladoja?
It is because he has been straightforward to me. What made me become so popular today is because of the big fight between Adedibu, Ladoja and myself. over Ladoja’s impeachment. Adedibu wanted Ladoja killed and I resisted. Adedibu engineered Ladoja’s impeachment. I tackled him.
Look at what happened at Akure years back. Adedibu sent his boys there to kill Ladoja where we were doing a rally in 2007. The then-president was there, Obasanjo was the President. IG was there, Director to SSS was there. All the big men were there and some people planned to go there and assassinated. I was hinted. So I moved in to protect him. I rescued Ladoja that day. It caused a big roar.
All the newspapers carried the news, NTA carried it. Obasanjo declared me wanted then. He said they should go and bring me that he wants to know I helped Ladoja escape. It was the grace of God. All the newspapers carried the news. All the TV stations carried it. Radio stations too. That was what made me popular. God so blessed me. I did not leave Ladoja. I was later invited to come to Aso Rock Villa and they ended their fight. They said it was a political matter and we settled it. All these things made me popular. People have been asking the question: That who is this Sunday Igboho? Why is he that loyal to Ladoja? It is because I know what I am doing. I stand on the truth. I don’t waiver. I will never backbite Ladoja. Lailai. That is why my image keeps soaring.
I don’t sing, I don’t sing Fuji. I am not an actor. But my name is in music of so many Fuji artistes. K1, Osupa, Pasuma and others sing about me. Those who act mention my name. The name is everywhere. I think it is God. I believe whoever God has chosen to make big, no human being can reduce to nothing. That is my belief.