Ibarapa Crisis: Sarki Fulani Fingered In Kidnapping, Ransom Negotiation




Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko

A delegation of Oyo State Government officials and the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, on Sunday, toured the trouble spots of Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun areas of the state where they conducted on-the-spot assessment of the tension-soaked communities.

The Commissioner of Police, who led senior Police officers including Deputy Commissioners of Police and Mobile Police Commanders on a tour of Igangan, Tede and Ago Are communities sued for peace, while also declaring the readiness of the Police to embark on a thorough investigation to ensure justice for victims of kidnapping, armed robbery, rape and other crimes.

The Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni (rtd), who led the government’s delegation also appealed to community leaders, youths and Hausa-Fulani residents to eschew violence and live in peace.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, added that Owoseni told the people to be vigilant and ensure they identify the criminal elements among them for prosecution by the Police, declaring that no one should take laws into their hands.

He also debunked insinuations that the government of Governor Makinde has abandoned the people to their fate, adding that at least 51 suspected perpetrators of kidnapping, rape and banditry are currently in police net from Oke Ogun axes.

He said that government would ensure that justice prevails in the cases involving the arrested lot, adding, however, that the people must remain vigilant.

“If you see something, say something,”Owoseni counselled residents of the visited communities.

The delegation also visited the razed home of the Seriki Fulani in Igangan, where it assessed the extent of damage and promised thorough investigation.

Secretary of Igangan Development Advocates, Lawal Akeem, who spoke in Igangan, said that the people were tired of the antics of the Seriki Fulani, Alhaji Saliu Abdukadir, whom he accused of complicity in different cases.

He also said that the community has been forced to pay about N50 million in ransom for different cases of kidnapping, while also accusing Fulani herders of regularly vandalising farms and raping women of the community.

Another youth in the town, Taiwo Adeagbo, said that no fewer than 15 women have been raped in recent weeks.

A member of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Peter Ojedokun, also told the delegation that Ibarapaland had been peaceful all the while but that the peace was affected recently when Fulani herders started attacking members of the community on their farms, kidnapping persons and committing crimes.

Two Fulani leaders, the Seriki Fulani of Igbo Ora, Alhaji Idris Abubakar, and the Seriki Fulani of Eruwa, Alhaji Sule Mohammed, asked for forgiveness from those offended, adding that they are ready to facilitate a peaceful coexistence in Ibarapaland.

The Caretaker Chairman of Ibarapa North-West Local Council Development Area, Hon. Okediji Samuel Olusegun, also corroborated the allegations levelled against the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, saying that the Seriki has been fingered in the series of security challenges in the area many times.

Addressing the gathering of traditional rulers, government officials and Fulani leaders in Igangan, the Commissioner of Police, Onadeko said: “We have come to assess and listen to you over the incident that happened. I want to appeal to everyone of us to be calm and ensure there is peace. If there is no peace in the community, there won’t be growth and development.

“I want to appeal to the youth. We have listened and they have interpreted all your complaints and I want to say you should not spoil your case by using force. We are a new team. Bring out all the cases you have, put them in an orderly manner and we will make sure that justice is done.

“So, I want to enjoin all of you to be peaceful and live with one another in a peaceful manner. If we live in peace in this community, we should be able to identify kidnappers, robbers, and rapists. It does not matter where you come from – whether you are from Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa. Actually, we have the good and bad ones. Criminality is not only ascribed to a particular ethnic group, it cuts across all the ethnic groups.

“So, if we don’t come together with one voice, how are we going to fish out all these people?

“Please, be calm. Cooperate with the Police, law enforcement agencies and we will make this place secure for everyone, irrespective of where you come from.

While also speaking at Igangan, retired Commissioner of Police, Owoseni, said that the government of the day in Oyo State has been working closely with the Police to fish out criminal elements, adding that 51 suspected criminals linked to kidnapping and other crimes committed in Oke Ogun and Ibarapa areas are already in Police net.

He said some are already charged to court, while others would soon have their days in court.

He said: “Let us put sentiment and politics aside, from what we heard, it is not as if the Ibarapa community is against one ethnic group. What they are claiming and the allegation they have made is that a particular person, who they are now seeing to symbolise an entire ethnic group, has been misbehaving.

The delegation, which also visited Ago Are and Tede communities, which got engulfed in communal clashes over the weekend, held peace parleys at the Ago Are town hall and the palace of the Onitede of Tede, Oba Rauf Oladoyin.

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