……says Seriki is as Guilty as the Herdsmen
The residents of Igangan, Ibarapa, Oyo State, on Sunday narrated the painful experiences they have endured in the hands of the Fulani herdsmen.
According to the community leaders, who narrated these ordeals during a visit of the state government delegation to the town, they said they have paid a total of N50m as ransoms for kidnappings executed by herdsmen in the community.
The community also presented evidence to the delegation, in form of pictures and other proof of ransoms paid to the herdsmen.
They accused the Seriki Fulani of cooperating with the herdsmen during negotiation of ransoms.
The delegation consisting of officials of the state and the new Commissioner of Police in the state Command, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, on Sunday, travelled to Ibarapa where violence erupted on Friday over kidnappings and killings by herdsmen.
Recall that violence erupted at Igangan on Friday when a popular Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, well known as Sunday Igboho, and his followers, attacked the Fulani settlement in the ancient town to eject the Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and herdsmen accused of committing crimes ranging from kidnappings, killings, rape to invasion of farmlands with their cattle.
The Seriki Fulani of Igangan and his family members were evicted and fled from the town and their properties burnt.
Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to state Governor, in his statement, said that Igangan community leaders on Sunday revealed that apart from the payment of N50m as ransoms, 15 women were raped by the herders in the town.
But Fulani leaders, who attended the meeting, pleaded for mercy and forgiveness, disclosing that the Fulani were ready to co-exist in peace with their hosts.
Lawal Akeem, Secretary of Igangan Development Advocates, said the people were irritated by the cunning schemes of the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, whom he accused of insidiously cooperating with the herdsmen in different kidnap cases.
Peter Ojedokun, a member of the state House of Assembly, also told the delegation that the peace in Ibarapaland was truncated by the Fulani herders with the endless attacks on members of the community; kidnappings and other crimes.
Okediji Olusegun, the Caretaker Chairman of Ibarapa North-West Local Council Development Area, also confirmed the allegations slammed against the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, saying that the Seriki had been influential in series of security challenges in the area countlessly.
During the meeting, victims who paid ransoms to the bandits presented pictorial evidence to back up their claims.
The traditional ruler of Igangan, the Asigangan of Igangan, Oba Abdulazeez Adeoye, whose cousin was kidnapped presented the evidence of the ransom he paid to release him.
Residents swarm the venue of the meeting with pictorial evidence of those who were killed and those who suffered attacks in the hands of criminal herdsmen.
Oba Adeoye confirmed that victims and their families came to the meeting with photographs to back up their claims.
He stated, “Our people brought photos. I also showed the evidence of ransom paid for one of my children.”