Over 24 hours after the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, ordered the Oyo State Police Commissioner to arrest Sunday Adeyemo aka (Igboho) for his role in the attack on Fulani communities at Iganga, Ibarapa LGA of the state, the suspect is still walking free, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.
Igboho, who had earlier issued a seven-day quit notice to Fulani in the area, reportedly led his supporters to the palace of the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, on Friday where they killed three people and razed houses and cars, forcing Fulani resident in the area to flee.
A source close to Igboho told our correspondent on Saturday in Ibadan that Igboho was still going about his usual business at his Soka residence, in Oluyole Local Government Area of the state.
“He has no place to go. He was not at the scene when the incident happened. He had left Igangan before the incident happened. Meanwhile, his mission in Igangan was not to fight anyone but to assure residents of his support for peaceful co-existence as you can see in the video going viral on social media where he encouraged Yoruba people of his support. The only people he asked to leave are terrorists who are causing confusion in the area,” the source said.
Following the attacks on the communities, Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had on Friday told the BBC Hausa Service that IGP Adamu had directed the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Igboho.
Also, the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde in a statement through his media aide, Taiwo Adisa, asked the commissioner of police to arrest Igboho for inciting the violence.
When contacted, the governor’s chief press secretary, Mr Adisa, directed our correspondent to ask the police why Igboho has not yet been arrested.
“It is not the duty of the governor to arrest anyone but it is the duty of the police,” he said.
Adisa said the governor didn’t mention anyone’s name but he specifically said miscreants, kidnappers and hoodlums in the state should be arrested.
The Oyo Police Command spokesman, Olugbenga Fadeyi, rejected calls put through to him while text messages sent to him were not replied to.
‘How we escaped attack’
Meanwhile, one of the sons of the Sarkin Fulani, Umar Salihu Abdulkadir Sarki, has narrated how they escaped Friday’s attack on their settlement.
Salihu, who spoke to one of our correspondents from his hiding place, said the attack happened despite assurances given to them by various security agencies in the state.
He said both the police and the DSS urged them not to panic, that nothing would happen to them.
“The Police Area Commander in Ibarapa told me that he was coming with Sunday Igboho and that we should calm down that nothing will happen to us, he told us that they were coming together.
“The Area Command later called us and told us that we should move with Sarki to Igboora and we should take him away; as I was trying to drive him away, the road to Igboora was blocked by the youths and I had no option but to turn back,” he said.
Salihu who said the attack started at around 5 pm told our reporter that when he saw the youths advancing, he fled into the bush for safety.
“I trekked several kilometres in the bush for until about 2 am when I found myself at Onye River in Ogun State before I could rest. It was Saturday’s morning that I got a bike to where I am currently hiding and right now, we are taking refuge separately with some family and friends before we decide where we can move to.
“I currently don’t know where our father is, but my uncle, a younger brother to the Sarki, Alhaji Sadiq Abdulkadir was confirmed to be killed in the attack. He was beaten by the youth and was then dragged to the main road where he was set ablaze and burnt to ashes”, he said.
He said two other persons; Sulaiman and Usman were also killed while many were wounded with many still missing.
“We thought our mother was killed but we later discovered she was only injured and she is responding to treatment,” he added.
He said the attackers destroyed houses, a nomadic school, a place of worship and a veterinary clinic built for them by the federal government.
Another son of the Sarki, Ibrahim Salihu Abdulkadir told Daily Trust on Sunday that the whereabouts of his two wives were still unknown.
“They burnt all of our belongings including my car,” he said. “This happened to us a few hours after we had a meeting with the deputy governor of Oyo State where he assured us of our safety, but see what they did to us?
“If they know they cannot protect us, they should have allowed us to leave. Now, they have killed our people and burnt our properties; we are now left with nothing,” he said.
He called on the government to ensure justice is done in the matter.
Daily Trust on Sunday correspondent earlier on Friday spoke on phone with the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo, Alhaji Salihu Abdulkadir who disclosed that he trekked all the way from Oyo State to a part of Ogun State where some members of his family came to his rescue.
His line did not go through yesterday when our correspondent tried to reach him.
Apprehend attackers now— ACF to South-West governors
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has called on governors of the South-West to quickly apprehend those behind the attack to forestall retaliations or further escalation of the violence, according to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Emmanuel Yawe.
“There are allegations that one Sunday Igboho, an agitator for Oo’dua Republic, who issued a seven-day ultimatum for Fulani people to leave Yoruba land, is the instigator of the attack. The most disturbing aspect of the attack is the allegation that security agents who were earlier warned about it stood helplessly as the attack was carried out,” part of the statement read.
Convene security meeting to resolve clashes, Akala urges Makinde
Meanwhile, a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has advised Governor Makinde to convene a council of state meeting to brainstorm on the security challenges facing the state.
Akala said such a meeting comprising of all former military and civilian governors of the state was necessary to forestall a collapse of the security architecture in the state.
Alao-Akala, who spoke shortly after an expanded meeting of the Elders Advisory Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held on Saturday at his Awosika residence, said, “He needs to sit down and brainstorm with people who have been there before him to share from their wealth of experience on how certain things are done especially in the area of security.”