The Arewa Consultative Forum, a Pan-Northern socio-political group has asked the federal government of Nigeria and the south-western governors to act quickly and bring to an end the attacks on Fulani communities in the region. Some houses and vehicles were set ablaze in Igangan, Ibarapa local government area of Oyo state when protesters attacked settlements inhabited by Fulani groups.
The incident took place after Sunday Adeyemo, a youth leader better known as Sunday Igboho addressed his supporters in Ibarapa on Friday after a 7-day eviction notice served on herdsmen. Reacting in a statement by Emmanuel Yawe, the national publicity secretary of Arewa Consultative Forum stated that such act can cause social upheaval that may destabilize the country.
The forum said the 1960 civil war started with such attacks, while urging the government to be proactive and stop “history from repeating itself.
According to their words; “The Arewa Consultative Forum this morning received reports of an attack by Yoruba Youths on Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, the Serki Fulani in Oyo State. In the reports, he was attacked and driven out of his house, eleven cars and his house burnt with his family members now living in the bushes.
“There are allegations that one Sunday Igboho an agitator for Oodua Republic and who issued an ultimatum giving Fulani people seven days to leave Yorubaland is the instigator of the attack. The most disturbing aspect of the attack is the allegation that the security agents who were earlier warned about its imminence stood by helplessly as the attack was carried out.
“The Arewa Consultative Forum is worried about this trend and calls on the Federal Government and State Governments in the South West to move quickly to avert a social upheaval that may destabilize the whole country. We recall that the civil war in the 60’s started with attacks and counter-attacks like this. The governments must be proactive and stop history from repeating itself.
“Those who carried out these attacks must be apprehended and the due process of the law allowed to take its course. If this is not done there maybe counter attacks in the north and the country will be up in flames. The authorities must act. The Arewa Consultative Forum is very worried and calls on them to act fast.”
However, Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo had countered Sunday Igboho saying his administration will not accept the issuance of ultimatums to any group of persons. Governor Makinde had asked the police to arrest those fomenting trouble under the guise of protecting the interest of Yoruba people.
However, Mohammed Adamu, Inspector-general of Police (IGP), has ordered the arrest of Sunday Igboho over the quit notice he issued to the herdsmen, saying that this amount to national security in the whole country.
Meanwhile, some suspected Fulani herdsmen have reportedly shot a woman, named Morenikeji Salami, while going to her site on the Oru-Awa Road in the Ijebu-North Local Government Area of Ogun State. The woman’s injuries were captured in a video that went viral on Saturday.
The attackers numbering about eight reportedly emerged from the bush, cut off one of her fingers and shattered her jaw with bullets. Salami was said to have run into some herds and attempted to make a quick reverse but was caught and attacked.
In the over four-minute clip of the video, the woman was seen being treated in a hospital, going through lots of pains as a nurse attended to her. The victim was said to have been taken to a few hospitals including the state-owned Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital but was rejected.
She said she had to travel to the Lagos State Hospital, Ikeja, before she could get treatment. In the video, a female voice was heard asking the daughter of the victim a few questions about the attack.
When asked how it happened, she said; “My mother was going to her site in Idofe after a road that leads to Oru along Quarry. She said she saw some cattle while she was driving on the road and as she made a quick attempt to reverse, she was surrounded by some Fulani men who emerged from the bush.
“She said they were about eight and the first thing they did was to shoot at all the four tyres and later went to block her car at the front. One of them carried a gun and wanted to shoot her. She begged him but he went ahead and shot her, removing one of her fingers.”
She explained that the attacker fired another shot which shattered her mother’s jaw and mouth, adding that the gunman shook her head to check if she had died.
She added; “My mother said she pretended as if she had died. One of her fingers was blown away by the bullets. She said she pretended as if she was dead. So, they went back into the bush. She said she managed to get down from the car after waiting for them to go
“After she managed to alight from the car, she saw a tipper lorry and flagged it down. The driver rescued her and took her to Oru but she was rejected. We went to the general hospital she was also rejected. When we got to Osun State University Teaching Hospital, they also said there was no space.”
In the video, the interviewer explained her efforts to get the video across to some aides of the Governor Dapo Abiodun and other people she believed matter. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident, adding that it happened on Monday, January 11.
He said three suspects had been arrested, adding that the Fulani herders who committed the crime had left their cattle on the spot and fled. He said; “Those people have a piece of land between Oru and Ago Iwoye. They went to inspect the land. One Alhaja who was going with them had excused herself with the promise that she would join them on the land.
“On getting to the land, they discovered that some Fulanis were attacking a labourer hired to clear the land in question. Those people immediately ran to those in the neighbourhood and in the process, the Fulanis left the victim and took to their heels.
“Unknown to the Alhaja, on her way to join the people, the Fulanis laid in ambush for her and opened fire on the vehicle she was driving. The woman was hit by a bullet and the Fulanis, who perpetrated the crime, ran away.
“When the police were informed, they went to the scene and could not find any of them but they saw the cattle they left behind. The police, in conjunction with the local vigilante group and hunters didn’t allow the cattle to leave the spot.
“Around 10pm, three Fulani men came to the spot with the aim of taking away the cattle and the police apprehended them. They have been transferred to the police headquarters in Eleweran. They have strong connection to the crime” he stated.