A young man from Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, Badru Abiodun has alleged that the sons of the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Salihu Abdulkadir, evicted from the community in January should be held responsible for the recent attack on the community.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported how residents were killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Saturday evening.
It was gathered that the herdsmen arrived at Igangan around 11:30 pm on Saturday and operated till 3:30 am on Sunday with no official security agency or police in sight.
The young man, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Monday, said the attack was terrifying, noting that it was instigated by sons of the evicted Seriki Fulani, who had always threatened to attack the community.
According to him, attacks on innocent indigenes have become commonplace and are not strange to the people who get attacked almost every day.
Badru also alleged that there are Ibarapa indigenes who liaise with the herdsmen to carry out attacks on other citizens.
He said, “We get attacked nearly every day. It was brutal. People were attacked at midnight, people's belongings were burnt. The entrance to my house was riddled with bullets. So many houses were burnt, also burnt were hundreds of shops, cars, petrol stations, trucks.
“I was at home when the attack was launched. There was no single policeman nor any government security agent to defend us. it was a terrifying experience. Up till now, I am still traumatised. The attack started at exactly 10:30 pm up till 3:30 am.
“When they started, some of us ran into the bush because we didn't even know what to do and when they were done with the attacks and were leaving, they caught some among us and slaughtered them.
“You see there is strong evidence that the evicted Seriki and his sons were responsible: Saliu Umar and Ibrahim Saliu. They have been threatening people via social media and other platforms. They have always claimed they will retaliate.
“And after Sunday's attack, we have not seen any post by those men and this is unusual because they have made a habit of speaking about matters like this. They are no longer here in Igangan but they have moles among indigenes who feed them with information. Those are their partners in crime.
“Right now, the community wants to buy guns for the local hunters. We want to equip them since the government-owned security system has failed us.
“We, however, need people to help us out because some of the people that can make contributions have also been affected.”
Another resident of the area who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that residents now live in fear, “The Fulani attacks are too much. They come to Ayete, Tapa, Igangan, Idere and the rest. During the last attack, they came into houses and were slaughtering people, we live in fear.
“The Fulani herdsmen arrived in their numbers, they damaged our properties and this is not just happening now, just that this last incident was worse than previous ones. They carry guns, not only machetes. Where do they get the guns? They came in four vehicles and many motorbikes, they killed our people, a lot of persons were killed.
“The Yoruba leaders should help us, we are not safe. The government should protect us. Whenever the police arrest herdsmen with weapons, what do they do with them? We really deserve to know if justice is being served!”
Warning About Imminent Attacks In Oyo
Meanwhile, a May 20 report by SaharaReporters had stated that a nameless Fulani group said to be a faction of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo state had warned of planned terror attacks in the state.
The group, through its Chairman, Umar Dogo and Secretary, Joni Yayi, alleged that the sons of the embattled Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Seriki Salihu Abdulkadir, who fled the state following an ultimatum given by Sunday Igboho in January, were behind the planned terror attacks.
The group also alleged that the sons of the embattled Seriki Fulani have been training bandits in the state.
The group called the attention of the Oyo State Government, security agents, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, and community leaders in the state to the security threat.
Dogo and Yayi said the youths were strategising, harbouring criminals, and recruiting bandits, kidnappers, and robbers to carry out all kinds of criminal activities in the state.
According to a statement signed by the duo, criminals are being recruited to terrorise the people in the state.
The group said out of the eight people fingered in the sinister plot, three of them are biological sons of the embattled Seriki Fulani.
Abdulkadir left the state recently after his house and cars were burnt by youths in Igangan over his alleged involvement in kidnapping and banditry.
The statement identified the following people as part of the plot: Maman Saliu, Ibrahim Saliu, and Aliu Saliu (who are presently in Ilorin, Kwara State). The three are said to be the sons of the embattled Seriki Fulani.
Others include Mamudu Abagu (from Iganna); Alhaji Mumini, immediate past Chairman of Meyetti Allah (Abeokuta branch); Hajia Aminat (from Oyo) and Alhaji Lawal Galadima, also from Oyo.
The statement reads in part, "The aforementioned people, our feeler from the Fulani community in Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa hinted that they were dissatisfied over the plan to remove the embattled Serkin Fulani Alhaji Abdulkadir Saliu by some Fulanis in Oyo state.
"Therefore their plans, if successful, may lead to ethnic conflicts that can lead to civil unrest and breakdown of law and order. The source, therefore, called on the Oyo state government to beam its searchlight henceforth on Ibarapa, Oke-Ogun in particular and Oyo state in general as well as place aforementioned names on their watchlist."