Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Ngozi Onadeko has assured indigenes of Oyo State, particularly those at Ibarapa and Oke Ogun zones, that investigation into the breach of the public peace, as well as arson, carried out on Friday, January 22, 2021, at Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area, has commenced.
Stating this on Sunday, January 24, Onadeko, in a statement by the police image-maker in the state, CSP Olugbenga Fadeyi, enjoined well-meaning and peace-loving elders in the community to caution and advise restive youths to sheathe their swords and shun violence in addressing the complex situation at hand.
She also advised the community youths to avoid being used as pawns to ignite ethnic war, pointing out that using violence, as a weapon to address security challenges, was negative.
The Commissioner of Police recalled that threats to public peace, occasioned by restiveness among the community people, made the Oyo State Police Command, joined by a security outfit, Operation Burst, to embark on visibility and confidence-building patrol of the areas concerned.
Onadeko noted that the visit to Igangan by Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, on Friday, January 22, resulted in mob action by some youths.
She stated further that even one of the police officers trying to calm the situation was injured.
She added that the security operatives handling the situation had to apply extreme caution, in order to avoid casualty and its degeneration to a complete breakdown of law and order.
The PPRO also said in the statement that the police commissioner disclosed that a number of suspects from different ethnic backgrounds were arrested in connection with all kidnap cases and assassination, which had occurred in the state.
“Some have been arraigned in the court of law and are being remanded in correctional facilities, while investigations are still ongoing in some of the cases.
“The Commissioner of Police will like to reiterate that the security agencies will not watch while some criminal elements take laws into their hands.
“Investigation into the arson and the breach of the peace, which occurred at Igangan, will be investigated to a logical conclusion, and culprits shall be brought to justice,” Fadeyi quoted the police commissioner in the statement.
Expressing their feelings, Igangan town indigenes related how kidnappers had made them to pay about N50 million as ransom for the release of the relations.
They spoke on how their women became sex objects, as they were usually raped by herdsmen while in the farm.
Aside this, they also spoke on the herdsmen using their cattle to destroy their farms by consuming their planted crops.
They cited the recent murder of Dr Fatai Aborode, who was allegedly tied, beaten and shot to death after reporting to the head of the Fulani tribe in Igangan about his farm that was destroyed by herdsmen and their cattle.
One of the indigenes, who is also the Secretary of Igangan Development Advocates, Lawal Akeem, particularly mentioned the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Alhaji Saliu Abdukadir, alleging him of complicity in cases of criminality in the zone.
This was corroborated by the caretaker chairman of Ibarapa North-West Local Council Development Area, Okediji Olusegun, who said that the Fulani leader should be investigated on the security challenges in the town.
A member of the state House of Assembly, Honourable Peter Ojedokun, expressed sadness at the way the peace being enjoyed in Ibarapaland was disrupted by the criminal activities of herdsmen, who started attacking members of the community on their farms, and committing kidnap and other crimes.
In his remarks, the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, CP Fatai Owoseni (retd) appealed to community leaders, youths and Hausa-Fulani residents to shun violence and live in peace.
Owoseni informed the people that 51 suspects involved in kidnap, armed robbery and homicide in Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa zones had been arrested.
The SSA on Security added that some of the suspects had been charged to court, while others would soon be arraigned.
He assured the people that the state government was working closely with the police to fish out criminal elements.
Two Fulani leaders, the Seriki Fulani of Igbo Ora, Alhaji Idris Abubakar and the Seriki Fulani of Eruwa, Alhaji Sule Mohammed, while speaking during the interaction, pleaded for forgiveness from those offended.
The promised to facilitate a peaceful coexistence between the Yoruba and Fulani in Ibarapaland.
Thenewsbearer learnt that CP Onadeko was also in Tede and Ago Are, in Oke Ogun area of the state, to intervene in the clash between youths in both towns, over the relocation of Kara (Kraal) market, which occurred on Friday, January 22.