Charles Nwoke, Ibadan, Nigeria
January 25, 2021
Image: local statue in the community, fair use.
Igangan residents in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State on Sunday took turns to recount their terrible experiences in the hands of Fulani herdsmen.
Leaders of the Ibarapa community, who spoke during a visit of the state government envoy to the town, said that they had paid a total of 50 million Naira as ransoms for abductions carried out by Fulani militia in the area.
The community leaders equally presented to the delegation, pictorial evidence and other testaments of ransoms paid to the herdsmen.
They accused the Seriki Fulani of complicity in the negotiation of ransoms.
The envoy consisting of officials of the state and the new Commissioner of Police in the state Command, Ngozi Onadeko, Sunday, visited the Ibarapa community where controversy first ensued on Friday over the alleged abductions and killings by the Fulani cattle rearers who turned militants.
Reminisce that crisis erupted on Friday at Igangan when a popular Yoruba Activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, alongside his followers, invaded the Fulani settlement in the ancient town to evict Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and herdsmen accused of committing crimes and causing havocs ranging from abductions, killings, rape to the destruction of farmlands with their cattle.
During the horrendous incident, the Seriki Fulani of Igangan and his family members were ejected from the town and their property destroyed.
Addressing newsmen, the Chief Press Secretary to the Oyo State Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Igangan town union leaders on Sunday stated that besides the payment of 50 million Naira as ransoms, 15 women were raped by the herders in the community.
In response to the accusations leveled against them, Fulani leaders, who attended the meeting, pleaded for forgiveness, saying the Fulani were ready for peaceful co-existence and mutuality with their host communities.
Lawal Akeem, the Secretary of Igangan Development Advocates, stated that the people were tired of the tricks of the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, whom he accused of complicity in several kidnap cases.
Akeem also revealed that the community had been forced to pay about 50 million Naira in ransoms for different cases of abduction, while equally accusing Fulani herders of regularly vandalizing farms and raping women of the community at will.
Taiwo Adeagbo, a youth in the community lamented that in recent weeks, no fewer than 15 women had been raped by Fulani herdsmen.
Peter Ojedokun, a member of the state House of Assembly, also disclosed to the State Government envoy that the peace in the land of Ibarapa had been trampled by the Fulani herders with the continuous attacks and intimidation on members of the community, kidnappings, and other criminal activities.