BREAKING: Tension In Oyo State As Youths Begin Eviction Of Fulani Residents After 7-Day Quit Notice
Sunday Adeyemo, famed Yoruba activist widely known as Sunday Igboho has arrived Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, amidst rising tension.
Igboho, swarmed by hundreds of youths at the Igangan Town Hall, is insisting that Seriki, the Fulani leader, must leave the town over allegations he is behind the insecurity in the area, The PUNCH reported Tajudeen Oke, a resident of the community, as saying.
Before his arrival, some youths were said to have made bonfires on the streets.
There had been reports of palpable tension in Igangan and other parts of the Ibarapa area of Oyo State on Friday morning as the quit notice given to herdsmen in the area expires today.
Frustrated by the incessant killings, kidnappings, and destruction of farms allegedly being carried out by herdsmen in Ibarapaland, Igboho last Friday stormed the Fulani settlements in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area and asked them to leave within seven days.
Igboho accused the Fulani community in the area of masterminding abductions, killings, and other criminal activities in the area.
Adeyemo who spoke in Yoruba dialect said fear of many Yoruba people are to ensure other tribe didn’t take over their land from them.
He said; “Fulanis cannot take over our land from us. We own our land and we won’t allow anybody to take it from us. Some people are intimidating us but we won’t succumb to their threat. For the Fulani living here, we are not fighting them, if they can live with us peacefully. Our fear is for them taking over our land, kidnapping and killing our people.
“We will evict them from our land if they insisted on kidnapping our people. I am assuring Yoruba people, especially the residents of Oyo state that there is no course for alarm. This one we started today, it is not only in Oyo state that we are going to evict Fulani people but in the entire Yoruba land.”
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Police Command had warned residents of the state against engaging in any act of lawlessness and violence in any part of the state.
The new Commissioner of Police in the state, Ngozi Onadeko, gave this warning in a statement issued on Thursday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi.
The police said four persons were injured when Igboho visited the place and the Fulani also allegedly waylaid farmers returning from their farms the same Friday night and hacked four of them.
Governor Seyi Makinde had on Wednesday in a state broadcast condemned the threat to evict the Fulani, while warning those behind the threat to desist or be ready to face the wrath of the law.
“We have a common enemy. That enemy is not the Hausa Fulani who is looking for pasture for his flock,” Mr. Makinde said.
“It is not the farmer who just wants to grow food to sell in the market or to feed his family. Our enemies are the hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers and bandits. These people live among us,” he added.
While admitting that relations between herdsmen and farmers in Oke-Ogun part of the state had waned following recent clashes, the governor, however, noted that issuing ultimatums aimed at ejecting foreign residents from the state was “not the way to further the Yoruba cause.”
Mr. Makinde admonished police authorities in the state to persevere in their efforts to quell tensions in Oke-Ogun and other troubled parts of the state, while reiterating his administration’s commitment to uphold the constitutional rights of every Nigerian to live in any part of the country without fear.
The Oyo governor’s handling of ethnic unrest in Oyo is in sharp contrast to his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, who ordered immediate evacuation of herdsmen from the state’s forests Monday.
Mr. Akeredolu, who traced the recent killings and kidnappings in the state to the activities of herdsmen, barred the movement of cattle within Ondo’s cities and highways forthwith.
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu had swiftly challenged Governor Akeredolu’s order, noting that the Ondo chief executive was bereft of constitutional powers to issue such ultimatums.
Mr. Akeredolu, however, dismissed the presidency’s criticism, saying Mr. Buhari was emotionally attached to herdsmen to assume a fair and balanced position on the national conversation. Both politicians are of the ruling All Progressives Congress, which has yet to take a firm position on the herdsmen crisis.
“Buhari Will Not Rest Until he Completely Bankrupt This Country” – Adeyanju