It is no longer news that the delegates of the trio of the Inspector General of Police, the Oyo State Government, and the Council of Obas would be meeting in Igangan today, January 24, 2021 for assessing the state of insecurity rocking Igangan, Ibarapa North-West LCDA and its environs. This visit is coming on the heels of the ejection of Seriki Fulani, Alhaji Abdulkadri Saliu who earlier had been issued a seven-day ultimatum by Mr. Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho to either produce the bandits and killers within the rank and file of the Fulani hegemony that had been terrorizing Ibarapa or vacate Ibarapa land
.This deadline had lapsed on Friday, January 22, 2021 leading to the ejection of the Seriki Fulani by the entire people of Ibarapa land. Contrary to the erroneous reports by some press, Sunday Adeyemo was not in the midst of those who went to Gaha Seriki to effect the Seriki’s ejection. It was the entire people of Ibarapa themselves that marched there while Sunday Igboho and his boys had only embarked on combing the remote forests serving as hideouts to the bandits to ensure the security of the land.
The truth that no press seemed to have ever reported is that the Seriki Fulani has been serving as the protective shield and supreme defender of these vicious Fulani herders for several years throughout Ibarapa land while Igangan had been the seat of his supreme Emirate before his recent ejection from the town. He would send his kids, prominent among whom was Ibrahim Saliu, to serve as the mouthpiece for arrested vicious herders even for grievous offences that ought to be charged to court
. Once the Seriki Saliu or children stepped into any case involving the Fulani, no matter how grievous, the case was, it would be swept under the carpet as the scale of justice became tipped. This heightened the impunity with which these herders unleash terror on the Ibarapa people. They became so emboldened that they started killing and maiming indigenes with glee. And before long, kidnapping too was added as their weapon of subjugation cum business venture.
As the writer of this piece, I have had several encounters with the Seriki’s style of wielding the hegemonic sword of tyranny to the hurting of the indigenous people of Igangan in favour and protection of the resident vicious Fulani herders in Igangan land.
Several reports on Fulani’s reign of terror on our land as being engineered by the Seriki Fulani had often been submitted to the press and the Governor of Oyo State but the Governor had never been moved to tackle this terror headlong. The height of the terror was reached when Dr. Fatai Aborode was gruesomely murdered on his way back from his farm.
This was a visionary man that returned to his hometown in Igangan from the United Kingdom and embarked on mechanized farming covering several hectares of land. He had on his employment payroll both the indigenous youths of Igangan and resident Fulani within the town. But he was murdered so very gruesomely by suspected alien bandits.
The youths of Ibarapa cried to Mr. Governor, Seyi Makinde in a protest led by Igangan Development Advocates (IDA) shortly after the murder of Dr. Fatai Aborode. Although, several meetings and consultations of the IDA representatives with the Governor’s representatives immediately followed the protest, the security recommendations submitted to the Governor by the IDA that could serve as short and long term strategies to address the security challenges in Ibarapa were never acted upon.
The deaths of many Ibarapa indigenes occasioned by Fulani bandits never attracted the attention of Mr. Governor. He never commiserated with the families of the many victims who have lost brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, uncles and aunts to the cold hands of deaths occasioned by killer herders. No press release was ever issued on the ever growing level of insecurity in Ibarapa and indeed Oyo State. Mr. Governor even forgot to commiserate with the families of the victims raped to death and murdered in cold blood by these herders during his state-wide broadcast recently
. No form of aid’s initiative was mooted by the Governor with respect to the wanton loss of farm investments worth several millions of naira incurred by farmers due to constant farm plundering by herders. All these are nothing but proofs of his cold insensitivity to the plights of those who voted him into power.
The unimaginable level of disconnect of the Governor from the people of Ibarapa was openly displayed in his recent broadcast when he unpardonably referred to “Ibarapa” as “Oke-Ogun”.
But now, when the arrow has suddenly taken a flight from the tautly pulled strings of the bow of insecurity and the insecurity situation has degenerated into a mess, Mr. Governor suddenly woke up and saw the need to visit the hotspot in company of the I.G.’s representatives and Council of Obas.
The question is: “where were they since?” Couldn’t these triad arms have taken more proactive steps before now amidst the wailings and crying of the people, even the press? Should the Seriki Fulani’s ejection from Igangan be the sole lighter to the fire of their mental locomotion before they could act to engender the much craved security in this hotspot?
If Mr. Governor wasn’t moved by the deaths of many illustrious sons and daughters of Igangan and Ibarapa lands in Oyo State where he is the Chief Security Officer but was suddenly moved by the ejection of the Seriki Fulani from Igangan, then this kind of body language is antithetical to and at variance with the oath he swore to. Mr. Governor should not be seen as the Governor of one ethnic group, he should be the Governor of all. He should be seen as treading the path of equity and justice for peace to reign not playing to the gallery to score some cheap political points as he appears to be doing now on the issue of insecurity.
Mr. Governor should be advised to deal with this crisis in his hands very cautiously and carefully so as not to reignite the fire he claimed he was trying to put out. Arresting Mr. Sunday Adeyemo, for instance, would not solve the problem but escalate it. He should heed the several calls for caution coming from several well-meaning and respected statesmen and groups all over the country. A word should be enough for the wise.
President, Igangan Development Advocates (IDA).
Join our WhatsApp Group to receive news and other valuable information alerts on WhatsApp.