No fewer than 17 persons have been reportedly shot dead by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen at Igangan, in the Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State.
Residents told our correspondent that the hoodlums invaded the town on motorcycles around 11pm on Saturday and started killing and destroying property, which continued until around 3am on Sunday.
At daybreak, residents reportedly saw corpses of children and adults littered some places in the town, while houses and vehicles, including a truck loaded with cassava flour, were razed by the attackers.
Some residents of Ayete, which is the headquarters of the Ibarapa North LGA, told our correspondent that Igangan residents sent messages to them and others in different parts of Ibarapa to help them get across to security agencies to come to their rescue.
The Convener, Igangan Development Advocates, Oladiran Oladokun, told The PUNCH that the gunmen set fire to houses to drive out the people, after which they opened fire on them.
He said the government did not take the security seriously, adding that they had reported that the herdsmen were planning to attack them.
Despite the information, he said nothing was done to protect the people.
Oladokun said, “Between 12 and 17 persons were killed. Security agents were called, but their numbers were switched off. No security agent came to our rescue. Our hunters and vigilantes were the ones who risked their lives and confronted the attackers who carried sophisticated weapons.
“Despite the fact that the hunters were poorly equipped, they gunned down five of the Fulani attackers. One of the brave hunters was killed by the gunmen. The hunter was shot and reportedly beaten to death with clubs and other objects.”
The Secretary of Farmers’ Union, Mr Taiwo Adeagbo, aka Akowe Agbe, had told our correspondent around 12.39am that the town was under attack.
But at 3.12am, Adeagbo said the shooting had reduced.
He later said around 5am that “the Fulani terrorists killed no fewer than five persons in Igangan. Security agents also killed five of the terrorists.
“The terrorists also set a petrol station ablaze; cars were also burnt and a truck loaded with cassava flour travelling to Ibadan was also razed,” he added.
The PUNCH gathered that the palace of the Asigangan of Igangan, Oba Lasisis Adeoye, was razed by the gunmen, but the monarch escaped because he did not sleep in the palace.
Adeoye, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone said, “Yes, they burnt the palace. They killed many people here and burnt houses and vehicles.”
Some residents claimed that one of Iskilu Wakili’s children was among the gunmen killed.
Also, one of the relatives of Seriki Salihu Abdukadir was said to be among the attackers killed by the hunters.
But the two sons of Seriki, Ibrahim and Umoru, when contacted by our correspondent, denied knowing anything about the attack.
Ibrahim said, “We are not in their community. How can they accuse the people they chased out five months ago of attacking them? We don’t know anything about it. There is no single Fulani man in the whole of Ibarapa North LGA, so, how can they accuse us of attacking them?”