Fulani returning, we’re living in fear again —Ibarapaland residents
LESS than a week after the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Saliu Abdulkadir and many others left Igangan, in Ibarapa zone of Oyo State, secretary of the Farmers Association in Ibarapaland, Mr Taiwo Adeagbo, has raised the alarm that the Fulani have been returning to the town.
Noting that virtually all the Fulani left upon the intervention of Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, Adeagbo said with the continued entry of the herdsmen, residents of Igangan are once again living in fear.
He noted that the return of the Fulani was signalled on Sunday when, hours before Governor Seyi Makinde visited the town, two residents of Igangan were struck with machete at about 1.00 a.m.
Adeagbo said the governor, upon his visit, was made to see the two injured persons and he ordered that they be taken to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, for treatment.
He also questioned if the 200 Amotekun officers that the governor directed to be redeployed to save Ibarapaland had not been mobilised to all the areas of the zone.
“The Fulani left when the Seriki Fulani was evicted but they are sneaking in once again. They all left then. Poverty may be one of the things that makes our people sell out and allow the Fulani in. They are now allowing the Fulani back.
“We know the people themselves have to save the land; the Amotekun are yet to be mobilised to the problem spots,” Adeagbo said.
Speaking further, Adeagbo decried that residents of Kajola in Ayete also lived in fear, with one man (names withheld) becoming a territorial warlord.
He noted that the said Fulani man, with guns, had chased farmers and residents about 15 kilometres away from his settlement.
The man was said had gone all out against the residents of Kajola when they attempted to evict him like it was done to the Seriki Fulani of Igangan land.
Also speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, Convener, Igangan Development Advocate, Diran Oladokun, decried that the entry and exit points into Igangan remained porous.
He questioned that the strategy for security of people of the zone was still not visible. He noted that fear of the people of Igangan was rising again going by little visibility of security patrol vans, few Amotekun officers seen patrolling farm areas and recent attack on two residents of Asunura near Igangan.
He also expressed bafflement at the effrontery of one Iskil Wakil, a Fulani man, to open fire on residents of Kajola who asked him to leave the town.
“If you are travelling to Igangan from Ibadan, you will not encounter any real Amotekun checkpoint. You encounter a police checkpoint from Eruwa to Igbo-Ora.
“The 200 Amotekun officers have been deployed but it seems that they have not been mobilised. They are only seen at the local government secretariat, Ayete.”
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, Commandant, Oyo State Security Network Agency (Amotekun), Olayinka Olayanju, said the strides of the additional 200 Amotekun officers who had been deployed to Ibarapaland would soon become visible. He cautioned against pressure from residents of the area on its operations, noting that such militarylike operation in the zone required strategic planning.
“It is not the people in the village that will tell us how to move. This is a military movement and we need to plan our movement. They are already deployed in Igangan, Tapa, Ayete, Igbo-ora.
“We will not tell them exactly what we are doing and how we are going about our business. The end result will justify what we are doing,” he said.
Meanwhile, leaders from Igangan have denied insinuations that the youth walked out on Governor Makinde when he held a town hall meeting in the area. General secretary of the Ibarapaland Farmers’ Association, Mr Taiwo Adeagbo, who spoke on behalf of the community, stated that no one walked out on the governor.
He maintained that the people of the area wanted solutions to the security challenges and were appreciative of the fact that the governor and his delegation came to Igangan to address the situation. He added that the youth only expressed their grievance when the member representing Ibarapa Central/ Ibarapa North state constituency, Honourable Peter Gbadegesin Ojedokun, was addressing the gathering, adding that when he (Adeagbo and others) appealed to them, they became calm.
According to Adeagbo, there was never a point when the youth walked out on the governor, saying that any news media that published such a story is guilty of fake news.
“Truly, the situation had really gotten out of hand before Governor Makinde got into office. But the only thing we want now is a solution. We went to Osogbo and Ibadan as well, and there are different writeups there. Some of them are with lawyers in Ibadan.
“During the last administration, they called us for a meeting in Ibadan and I went with 14 people that were stabbed with matchete but the government did not give them a dime. I took them to the Ministry of Agriculture then.
“All of us did not sleep because we knew the governor was coming here. I sent the lists of all those that were killed, inflicted with matchete wounds and injured. When he came, we discussed the things that have been happening even before now. And our people became happy when I told them that the delegation that came all the way from Ibadan to address our challenges should not be welcomed with unnecessary chaos. We are the ones who need something from them, not vice versa.
“But Governor Makinde has come here and he has said that the family of the people who lost their lives and other people will be compensated.
“We told the delegation that we know where the hoodlums always hide; there is an uncompleted building, which is about 76 bedrooms. That is where kidnappers, terrorists sleep and live and the governor has said that they will do something about it.
“So, where did they see the group of youths that walked out on the governor when he came? He told us that the local government chairmen did not do well by not informing him of the situation promptly. The governor made us know that he did not get the report of what has been happening here.”