- Victims tell tales of anguish, count losses
- Govt assures of assistance
It was a weekend of pandemonium, anguish and tears when hoodlums unleashed mayhem on a Fulani community in Oke, Ibadan, in Oluyele Local Government Area of Oyo State.
Daily Trust gathered that the hoodlums who stormed the community that has only about 50 houses where the residents have been living peacefully with their hosts for the past30 years, set the houses ablaze and rendered the residents homeless.
They also carted away several valuable property and cash belonging to the Fulani residents.
Since the incident, the victims have taken refuge in an uncompleted mosque in Ogunmakin, a neighbouring community in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area in Ogun State.
The leader of the community, Alhaji Wakili Inusa Adamu, while recounting the ordeal, told Daily Trust that the attackers were thugs from Ibadan.
He recalled that the attackers stormed the community in six vehicles in the evening after the men had gone for prayers at Ogunmakin.
Adamu added that the hoodlums, who were heavily armed, shot sporadically before they started the attack but no life was lost.
“It was on Friday evening after all our men had left home for Friday prayer in our neighboring community of Ogunmakin.
“It was only women and children that were left at home when we received calls that some people from Ibadan stormed our community and set it ablaze. They shot from afar as they approached the community and our women and children ran into the bush. They burnt down the settlement which has about 52 houses. They also vandalized our valuables and stole the livestock that we kept at home. But we are grateful to the Almighty God that no life was lost during the attack,” Adamu said.
He added: “But as I speak with you, we are taking refuge in an uncompleted mosque at Ogunmakin because they razed all our belongings, including our food stuff, money and clothes. We are left with only what we were wearing on the day of the attack.”
“We thank God for the Baale of Oja Ibadan who has really helped us. He has helped us to recover some of our livestock looted by some people who took the advantage of the attack.
Adamu, however, called on the state and federal governments “to come to our aid. We don’t have food and clothes. We don’t have shelter. We are only sleeping in an uncompleted mosque together with our wives and children.”
He lauded the commissioner of police, Oyo State Command for quick response, the Chairman of the Oluyele Local Government Area, Mr Setu Popoola, for visiting the community as well as the host community for their concerns.
Halima Muhammed, a victim, while also recounting her ordeal, said that she came from Abeokuta on a visit to her parents at the attacked community to deliver her baby in line with the Fulani traditions.
She was about to return to her husband in Abeokuta when the incident happened and lost all her belongings, including N300,000.
Husaina Aminu lamented that all her belongings, including N90,000 she had as capital was stollen.
“I have three children who are always sick and I am battling to ensure that they are given a good medical care but now the attackers have left me with nothing to take care of my children.”
Muhammadu Lawal said that five of his rams and 12 goats got missing, while some food stuff and his brand new motorcycle got burnt.
“It’s the Baale of Oja Ibadan that helped me recover three of my goats that were looted. As I am talking to you, we don’t have a home. We are seeking the assistance of the authorities,” he said.
The Executive Chairman of Oluyele Local Government, Mr Setu Popoola, told Daily Trust that he was at the embattled community to assess the attack.
“I have inspected the settlement and will give the full report to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, and we are going to see how we can assist them to rebuild their settlements. We will surely assist them to ease their pains. I know them very well, especially their leader, Alhaji Inusa Wakili. They have been staying with us peacefully for a long period of time. We are not happy with this attack as they are peaceful,” he said.
The Baale of Oja Ibadan, Kamorudeen Adeagbo, confirmed that he was the one who assisted the victims to regain more than 30 livestock after meeting with some youths and butchers.
“The attackers are not from our community. We have no any issues with the Fulani. We have been living with them peacefully. We work together for the development of our community. What touches them also touches us and vice versa,” Adeagbo said.
As the time our correspondence visit the Fulani settlement yesterday, he saws hundred of women and children squatting at the sorrounding of an uncompleted mosque at Ogunmakin with no foods, no blanket to cover the little children as they hoped for assistance from the chairman of Oluyele Local Government and that of the Oyo State Government as well as willing philantropists.