A woman and two children were reportedly killed on Friday when youths allegedly led by Sunday Igboho, attacked Fulani communities in Iganga, Ibarapa North of Oyo State as the seven-day ultimatum given to them elapsed.
It was learnt that security operatives were earlier stationed around the Fulani communities, but they were overpowered by the youths who invaded the settlements and burnt houses and cars.
The Sarkin Fulani, Alhaji Salihu Kadiri, disclosed to our correspondent that his palace and many houses were razed.
“As I am talking to you, I am hiding somewhere in the bush. We fled for our lives when we learnt that they were coming. They burnt my cars and those of my children. They also killed an old woman, who I learnt may be my first wife.
“As at now, I cannot give you the details of the people we lost to this attack because we are still hiding,’’ he said.
Aliyu Salihu Kadiri, one of the children of the Sarkin Fulani, who also spoke with Daily Trust via phone from where he was hiding, confirmed that three people were killed during the attack.
“They burnt our communities. And we are afraid that our children, wives and aged people who could not run may have been killed”, he said.
Mustapha Aliyu Moddibo, a resident of Iseyin, told our correspondent that Fulani communities in the area are not safe.
Chairman of Miyetti Allah in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Jiji described the incident as unfortunate, urging government to find lasting solutions to Fulani-farmers unrest in the state.
But one of the media aides to Chief Sunday Igboho, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said, the incident must have happened after his master had left Igangan, saying; “Sunday Igboho was there not to fight but to appeal to both sides and assure Yoruba residents that there won’t be problem.”
The Spokesman of the Oyo Police Command, Oluwagbeniga Fadeyi promised to investigate and get back to our correspondent, but couldn’t confirm the development at the time of filing this report.
Speaking to the Hausa Service of the BBC, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had directed the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Igboho.
Also, Governor Seyi Makinde yesterday asked the commissioner of police to arrest Igboho who gave the Fulani an ultimatum to leave the South-West.
He said his government would not allow anyone hiding under the guise of protecting Yoruba interest to cause ethnic tension and perpetuate crisis in the state.
Makinde’s directive is coming on the heels of renewed threats by Igboho that the Fulani must leave the entire Yoruba land over their alleged involvement in kidnappings and other criminal activities.
He maintained that the type of war the state and security agencies needed to wage is not against any particular ethnic group but criminal elements, irrespective of their tribes, religions or creed.
The governor added that his administration would not allow anyone to threaten the peace of the state by acting unlawfully and saying things that are alien to the Nigerian constitution. He noted that acts that are capable of causing chaos in the state would not be accepted.
“The people stoking ethnic tension are criminals, and once you get them, they should be arrested and prosecuted.
“For this administration, the major pillar for us is security because we know that all the good economic plans we have won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.
“So, when people say things that are neither lawful nor within the spirit of Nigeria’s constitution, it is not acceptable here. And they cannot hide under the guise of protecting Yoruba’s interest to perpetuate chaos in the state.
“I am sure that since you came in, you must have heard about some things happening in the Ibarapa axis of the state. I will still say it here that we are not after Hausa-Fulani. We are after criminals,” the governor said.
(Source: Daily Trust)