More facts have emerged on the last weekend’s brutal attack on Igangan community in Ibarapa North local government area of Oyo state.
The attack allegedly carried out by Fulani herdsmen who came on a revenge mission believably as a result of the eviction of Abdulkadir Saliu and other criminal herdsmen in Igangan in January this year in an operation spearheaded by Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a. Igboho Oosa, following unabated killings, kidnapping, raping and farm destructions by these Fulani herdsmen with Abdulkadir Saliu commonly called Seriki Fulani being fingered as mastermind.
Since then, Abdulkadir, who escaped by the whiskers and who later claimed he lost seven family members in the invasion of his home, has been living in a community in Kwara state.
But Igangan indigenes have continued to claim that his son and others had been threatening them with reprisal which they believed was executed last Saturday carried out in commando style and which left as many as 30 indigenes dead, close to 60 houses including churches, residential homes, shops and Asigangan palace as well as vehicles, motorcycles and a filling station razed to the ground.
It was a horrendous moment. The night marauders were said to have come in about 20 motorcycles and two vehicles and numbered nothing less than 50.
Meanwhile, it had been revealed that some brave men in Igangan including members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), traditional hunters and some other youths mobilized to engage the attackers leading to the neutralization of about six of them and others escaping.
According to an investigation by HumAngle, the defenders, led by the OPC leader in the town, Moshood Adisa, after the invaders said to be heavily armed with sophisticated weapons had operated for about two hours without interruption from any of the conventional security agencies nearby with casualties and destructions mounting, mobilized themselves to fend off the well coordinated attack.
Adelere Olanrewaju, a resident of Igangan narrating his experience to HumAngle, recalled, “I was doing night watch with the children, when we heard gunshots from a far distance but while we were still trying to make sense of the sound, they had already closed up on us. We had to run inside or die.”
Also, Azeez Adelere Saminu, the vice chairman of Igangan Community Development Association who lost a car to the carnage, unveiled, “I kept calling the Divisional Police Officer in Ibarapa and he assured me that they were making plans, they didn’t finish making the plans until the next morning. If not for the local hunters, the situation would have been worse than this,”
Adisa thus called out his boys, members of the OPC and some traditional hunters to save their community total destruction but according to him most of them were afraid to come out citing the detention of OPC members who about three months ago arrested Iskilu Wakilu in the nearby Ayete town whereas Wakilu, the notorious Fulani criminal kingpin had been set free by the police.
But they overcame their fears and rallied to bear down on the attackers, relying on their (local) rifles and deployment of African science.
“Some minutes to 11 p.m., I got a call from the head of hunters in Igangan. When I got the call, I started calling my members. Many did not want to come out, especially due to the incident involving Wakilu, the Fulani man that was released after we arrested him for kidnapping. Those that carried out the arrest are still in police detention,” Adisa said.
“Well, I came out and God so good, we met ourselves. They were very many. Only someone that could count the sand on the ground would be able to count them.
“Other OPC members and local hunters joined me and we succeeded in repelling them. We thank God and we thank our ancestors for revealing our enemies to us,” as he disclosed that one of the fallen attackers was a relation of the evicted Seriki Abdulkadir Saliu.
This was corroborated by Oladiran Oladokun, convener of Igangan Development Advocates who told HumAngle that some of the attackers felled by the defence team were identified as the Fulanis evicted from the community.
In the meantime, Igangan, according to report and indeed all of Ibarapa zone have taken their destiny in the hands with youths mounting civilian road blocks to check the influx of strangers. Vigilance is now the watchword as security agencies appear to have been compromised.