No fewer than 15 residents of Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State were reportedly killed when gunmen stormed the community at the weekend.
Daily Trust gathered that the gunmen arrived Igangan around 11pm on Saturday night and operated until 3am on Sunday.
A source in Igangan told Daily Trust that many houses including the palace of the Asigangan of Igangan land, Oba Adewuyi Olaoye, were razed by the assailants.
A resident of Igangan, Rotimi Etu, confirmed to Daily Trust that he personally counted about 15 corpses on Sunday morning.
The Oyo state command of the Nigeria Police Force on Sunday, however, confirmed that 11 died in the attack.
The command, in a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adewale Osifeso, said intelligence and tactical apparatuses consisting of Police Mobile Force personnel, Patrol units and other tactical teams in concert with local hunters and vigilantes from the Community were deployed to forestall further disintegration of law and order in the area.
The community shot to public reckoning in late January, when herdsmen were evicted by youths led by the self-acclaimed Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Igboho.
Igboho had given the herders in Igangan a seven-day ultimatum and after the expiration stormed the settlement of Sarkin Fulani, Alhaji Abdulkadir Saliu to eject them.
During the attack, houses and vehicles belonging to the Sarkin Fulani were razed. The Fulani leader was forced relocate to Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
Speaking on the development, the Convener, Igangan Development Advocates (IDA), Mr Oladiran Oladokun, who pegged the number of casualties at 15, said five attackers were also killed by the hunters who came out to confront them.
Oladokun said: “No state security apparatus got to us during the storm. If we had not made a little cover, perhaps, Igangan would have become a dunghill of ashes.”
Meanwhile, the governor of Oyo State, Engr. Makinde, on Sunday, asked the residents of the state to remain calm, despite attack on the residents of Igangan.
The governor who posted his reaction on his Facebook page said: “I have received the shocking news of the attacks on residents of Igangan, Ibarapaland, in the early hours of this morning. I am currently being briefed on the incidents. I urge residents to remain calm as security operatives are now in control of the situation.”
It’s a war on S’West — Adams
A leader of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), Gani Adams while reacting to the Igangan attack described it as a declaration of war on South-West by the North.
Adams claimed that 50 persons were killed during the attack.
He warned Fulani herdsmen and bandits to stay away from the South-West or be ready to face stiff resistance.
“In a situation like this, you rise and defend yourself. Where are the police when the bandits started killing our people in Igangan today?Even the palace of Asigangan of Igangan land,Oba Adewuyi Olaoye, were not spared and the monarch, according to reports had been whisked away by the bandits,” he stated in a statement
We have no hand in attack – Miyetti Allah
The Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Oyo State, Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar Jiji, has disclosed that Fulani herdsmen in the state had no hand in the attack on Igangan community.
Alhaji Jiji, who told Daily Trust that the attackers were criminals and not herdsmen asked the state government to conduct a thorough investigation and punish the attackers.
He said the Fulani herdsmen in the state are peace-loving people who have been working hand in hand with the state government, traditional leaders, as well as the security agencies, to ensure peace and harmony with their host communities in Oyo State.
The Sarkin Fulani of the community, Alhaji Salihu Abdulkadir, who was evicted from the town along with his entire family, also told Daily Trust that he knew nothing about the attack.
Abdulkadir said he had been waiting patiently to be compensated since he was attacked and his properties destroyed in the last six months.
His son, Umar Salihu Abdulkadir, told Daily Trust the notion that it was a reprisal attack was untrue.
“We don’t know the attackers. We don’t know anything about the attack. But some may be thinking it was a reprisal attack which was not so. We are not the only Fulani that were attacked in Igangan.
“Igangan has been a no-go area for Fulani after they evicted us from the region. Three days ago, they attacked a Fulani man at Igangan Round-about. He was killed and burnt to ashes. Also, last month, some Fulani traders were coming from Ayete market, four of them were inside a car, they were also attacked and burnt with their car. This kind of killing of Fulani herdsmen is so rampant in that region. And the Fulani they have been killing also have families. They may be the one behind the reprisal attack but for us, Sarki’s family, have no connection about the attack,” he said.
Inter-state operation by Amotekun
Ondo State Governor and Chairman, South West Governors’ Forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has said that the south west security network code name Amotekun corps will commence a joint operation in the region immediately to forestall the kind of attack that happened in Igangan, Ibarapa area of Oyo State.
In a statement personally signed by him, Akeredolu said they received the news of the premeditated attack on the people at Igangan in the early hours of yesterday with rude shock.
According to be him, “This cowardly onslaught on a peaceful community has occasioned the loss of lives and property on a large scale. It is horrendous, callous, and highly provocative. All well-meaning Nigerians must condemn, in the strongest term possible, this latest assault on decency and communal harmony.
“While we will encourage the security agencies to get to the root of this latest act of provocation, we have directed the Commanders of the South West Security Network, Amotekun, to convoke a joint security meeting of all Commanders in the South West with a view to commencing joint operations in the region immediately.
5 killed in fresh attack on Imo police hqtrs
The Police in Imo State have said they repelled an attack on the police headquarters in the State by hoodlums on Sunday, killing five of the attackers in the process.
One person has been arrested.
It was the second time the Imo police headquarters in Owerri would be attacked by gunmen since hostilities against security agencies started in Nigeria’s Southeast region.
On April 5, some unknown gunmen attacked the police headquarters and that of the Nigerian Correctional Service, freeing 1,844 inmates.
Police Public Relations Officer in the State, SP Bala Elkana, said in a statement that the hoodlums had invaded the facilities in the early hours of Sunday but met stiff resistance by operatives.
“Hoodlums masquerading as unknown gunmen attempted an attack on the Police Headquarters this morning but suffered a huge defeat.
“They made effort to access the Police Headquarters through Works Layout around Avan Nursery and Primary School but were vehemently repelled.
“They came in a white Hummer bus. Five of the hoodlums were killed during an exchange of fire and others were injured.
“The Hummer bus is recovered. Four Ak47 rifles were also recovered,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has explained that his government is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that peace returns to Imo State faster than expected.
He spoke on Sunday while addressing the congregation at the Government House Chapel, Owerri after service to allay the fears of Imolites on the early morning shootings in the state capital.
From Jeremiah Oke, Abbas Dalibi (Ibadan), Bola Ojuola (Akure), & From Jude Aguguo Owuamanam, Owerri