Four Fulani herders among them a community leader have been killed by suspected members of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in Oyo State on Monday.
Some sources said the assailants, wearing T-shirts with OPC inscription and carrying weapons, stormed Elekokan in Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area where they shot the victims to death.
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The attack was launched less than 24 hours after the Yoruba leaders in the community accused some Fulani herders of killing some people and burning their houses in Igangan.
Our correspondents gathered that during Monday’s reprisal, four Fulani herders were killed at Elekokan village.
The victims included; Alhaji Dako Usman (60), Bello Sulaiman (36), Alhaji Adamu (45) and the 75-year-old community leader known as Seriki.
Sources said about 30 members of OPC invaded the village on motorbikes and attacked the herders.
One of our sources said the OPC members stormed the village with different firearms and other weapons, killed the four people and injured many others in what appeared as a deliberate move to sack the herders from their dwellings.
Our source said the case was reported to the police while the corpses of the victims have been deposited at Fadoks, a private morgue in Iseyin.
When contacted, the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso, denied the incident but said police officers had been deployed to the axis.
“I am not aware of this information. Police and other security agencies are already on the ground in the communities,” he said.
However, another credible security source confirmed the incident saying the Ayete Police Division in Ibarafa North had received information from Elekokan Police Station that about 30 assailants wearing clothes with OPC inscription attacked Fulani communities and killed four people.
The leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Oyo and Ogun states told one of our correspondents that OPC members had been attacking Fulani communities since Sunday’s attack on Igangan.
MACBAN’s chairman in Oyo, Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar Jiji, told Daily Trust that they were trying to recover the bodies of the Fulani herders killed by the OPC members.
“As I am talking to you, we are at the mortuary. They killed four people including the Fulani community leader. I am making a passionate appeal to security agencies to conduct security meeting with the traditional rulers in the region and Fulani leaders for peace to reign,” he said.
His counterpart in Ogun State, Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar Dende, condemned the attack on their people who he said had no hand in the recent security breach in Oyo.
He also urged the authorities to do a thorough investigation and fish out the perpetrators of Monday’s assault.
“The Fulani settlers in Oyo and neighbouring Ogun states are not happy with the attack. We don’t know anything about the attack but it appears we have become the target of some OPC members who are now attacking us in a manner that appears to be a misdirected reprisal.
“Apart from the people killed, the house of Alhaji Sajo, an Islamic cleric who has been in Igangan town for over sixty years was attacked on Monday and he was abducted.
“Some are saying they have killed him and burnt the corpse to ashes.
“His storey building was set ablaze. He is not a herder; he is a cleric who attends to people from Lagos and Ogun states. He is more of Yoruba as he has been with them for long,” he said.
Daily Trust reports that the OPC members who are among various groups agitating for Oduduwa Republic have resorted to violence of recent. They launched an attack at the Idiroko international land border last week.
I’m not behind Igangan attacks — Evicted Sarkin Fulani
The Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, who was evicted from his Igangan palace four months ago, has denied media reports that he is behind the fresh attack on Igangan community.
The Sarkin Fulani, who condemned the attacks, tasked security agencies to do their job in arresting the perpetrators.
His call for a thorough investigation came few days after the Asigangan of Igangan, Oba Lasisi Adeoye, accused him of sending assailants to his domain.
Daily Trust reports that the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, had accused Fulani herders with active support of their leaders of carrying out the attack on Igangan, a development many observers said could have emboldened the OPC members to stage a reprisal on the nearby community.
Adams had warned Fulani herdsmen to stay away from the South-West or be ready to face stiff resistance.
He also alleged that the attack was clear indication that the North had waged war against the South-West.
Speaking on the allegations, Abdulkadir, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said it was wrong to have linked the attacks to him.
He said many herders also suffered casualties during the attacks and even said one Fulani man who was neither a cattle rearer nor trader and who had been living in Igangan since the 60s was killed on Monday in reprisal attack on several Fulani settlements.
The Sarki stressed that he had no hand in the attacks and had no mercenary anywhere who would attack people on his behalf.
He said since his eviction from the community by armed youths led by Sunday Igboho, he has lost fortunes garnered over several decades.
He said, “They killed my people, destroyed my properties. I know nothing about the attacks. If I had the mercenaries, I would have defended myself when my palace was invaded by Sunday Igboho and his men.
“I have lost everything. I have been living from hand to mouth. I don’t have any mercenaries fighting for me. I leave everything in the hand of God.”
The evicted Sarkin Fulani who is currently in Ilorin, Kwara State, blamed the attack on failure of security agencies, saying if the security agencies had been proactive, it would not have occurred.
Abdulkadir insisted that the unrest in Ibarapa was worsened by ethnic profiling where only Fulani herders were tagged as criminals.
He said on many occasions, the Yoruba were arrested for kidnapping and other criminalities in Ibarapa zone but their arrests never got prominence because they were not Fulani herders.
He said since his eviction in January, Fulani herders have been living in fear in the communities in Ibarapa including Aiyete, Tapa and Igangan, adding that he has advised those who are afraid to flee and refrain from taking the law into their hands.
Allow Amotekun carry AK-47 — Makinde
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Tuesday visited Igangan, the scene of Sunday’s attack.
Before the visit, Makinde had presented a keynote address at the opening of a two-day 2021 Governor Seyi Makinde National Democracy Summit, with the theme ‘The Future of Democracy in Nigeria,’ held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
He lamented that calling governors chief security officers of their states, without having power to command federal security agencies in their respective states to attend to security situation without clearance from Abuja was frustrating.
Makinde said: “With what happened at Igangan, the people can hold me responsible for letting them down and when I go there, I will take responsibility because those killings were really needless.
“Even though I continue to take responsibility for the security situation in Oyo State, we all know that, in reality, the commissioner of police has to wait for orders from ‘above’ before taking specific actions to benefit the local population.
“So, looking at the federal security agencies here in Oyo State, they have to get clearance from the federal government. We will continue to do our best.
“Here in the South-West, we were able to kickstart Amotekun. But even with Amotekun, people ask how the killings happened. Were they not there? But we have several limitations to what Amotekun can do and even the firearms they can carry.
“You have Dane guns and you are faced with people carrying AK-47. If it is in terms of investment, if we are given the authority, I will also buy AK-47 for Amotekun, if given the license.
“State policing is a sure cure to our national development challenges. Anyone who has been involved in security at any level will tell you that policing is local.
“One of the reasons why the Western Nigeria Security Network, code-named Amotekun, is recording success is because members of the corps are drawn from the locality. They know the terrain and so can gather needed intelligence. Also, they can be held accountable by the local people because they know them.
“So, when state governors become the actual chief security officers in charge of the security personnel in their states, they can quickly respond to security challenges,” he said.
Herders’ settlement razed in Ogun
A settlement of some herders at Iraye village in Sagamu, Ogun State, has been razed down by the locals, following allegations of kidnapping.
Daily Trust gathered that some locals at Iraye, a village located behind NNPC Mosimi in Sagamu, had accused some Fulani settlers of being the brains behind the abduction of their people in the area.
Sources told our correspondent that the indigenes on Monday evening stormed the Fulani base and set it ablaze.
One person was reportedly injured in the attack, while others scampered for safety.
Our correspondent gathered that in a video clip which has gone viral, a voice was heard claiming that a farmer was abducted by some Fulani in the area.
The voice claimed that attempt to rescue the victim led to confrontation between the villagers and the Fulani abductors.
MACBAN chairman in the state, Abdulmumin Ibrahim Dende, confirmed the incident to Daily Trust on Tuesday.
Ibrahim said about five houses were burnt in the settlement while the affected Fulanis have temporarily relocated. He said no one died during the attack.
He said: “Some people called me in respect of the incident around 9pm last night that a Fulani settlement was razed down at a village in Sagamu. They said the incident was as a result of an alleged kidnapping case.”
IPOB killed 128 military, police personnel — Army
The Nigerian Army on Monday disclosed that the Eastern Security Network (ESN) set up by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has killed 128 military and police personnel, as well as 15 civil defence officers, and 31 community policing members in the South-East.
The army also disclosed that the group had killed over 100 civilians who refused to support its activities.
The Brigade Commander of 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Imo State, Brig. Gen. Raymond Utsaha, made the revelation in Owerri, Imo State capital, at a joint press conference he organised with the state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro.
According to him, the hoodlums masquerading as ‘unknown gunmen’ have killed no fewer than 150 security operatives and civilians in the South-East zone.
The army chief said no “responsible government” would allow such “criminal elements” to continue to have their way.
Utsaha disclosed that the gunmen killed 78 police officers, 38 army officers, five Naval officers, seven Air Force officers, 15 Nigeria Security and Civil Defence officers, 31 community policing members and over 100 innocent citizens in the five states of the South-East region since the unrest.
From Jeremiah Oke, Abbas Dalibi (Ibadan), Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos) & Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja)