Noticeable tension has been observed in Ibarapa community of Oyo state after allege return of Fulani herdsmen back into the community following an allege destruction of cropping lands in the area.
The Fulani herders who were recently deposed from Ibarapa following a Seven-day ultimatum given by one Yoruba freedom campaigner; Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho to the Sarkin Fulani of Ibarapa; Salihu Abdulkadir has been obsereved to be back to the community for a reprisal attack on members of the community.
Farmers in Igangan, however, told Saturday PUNCH on Friday that the herdsmen had not only started returning to the area but that they had allegedly resumed destruction of farms and threatened to attack farmers who resisted them.
Speaking to men of the press during the interview, the Chairman, Real Farmers Association of Nigeria, Igangan branch, Mr. Abiodun Adegoke, made it known that some of the cases have been escalated to the police in Ayete and Igangan for investigation and possible arrest.
Mr. Adegoke who accused some herdsmen of grazing their cattle on a cassava farm at Olukosi village on February 14 thereby destroying a large part of the farm. He added that the herders invaded the farm around 7.30pm but that the farmers rallied other residents who pursued the herdsmen thus escaping with their animals.
Mr Adegoke stated convincingly that the herdsmen have no respect whatsoever for the anti-open grazing law which is in place in the state, adding the herders stilled grazed at night regardless of the law banning such acts.
According to him, one cow belonging to the Fulani herders was caught and taken to the police station at Ayete, the headquarters of Ibarapa North Local Government Area.
In his word, “Two weeks ago, another incident happened at Asunnara village. Some herdsmen grazed their animals on the farm of Semiu Ariwoola. They invaded the farm and started uprooting cassava there to feed their animals. Our people mobilised and ran after the herders and their animals.
“They escaped but six rams among the livestock were caught and were taken to the Igangan Police Station. These people have shown that they cannot change. One would have expected that they would desist from farm destruction, plundering and attacking farmers, but they have returned to their wicked ways.
“We were attending a meeting organised by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission on Wednesday and I received a call that some herdsmen were grazing on someone’s farm. The farmer challenged them and they started beating him. Two of them beat him mercilessly with their rods.”
Adegoke held that it took the intervention of other farmers who arrived to stop the herdsmen.
“As they were talking, one of the herdsmen, Yahaya, brought out a cutlass and threatened to attack one of our people, but when he saw that they were many, he stopped,” the farmers’ chairman added.
The Convener, Igangan Development Advocates, Oladiran Oladokun, told Journalist that the herdsmen had started returning and destroying farms.
Reacting to the Issue, Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi, said that the police would have started investigation into the cases since the complainants said they had reported the cases.
He said, “The police would have begun investigation since they said the incidents were reported. We will continue to do what will promote unity and peace in every area.”