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‘Kidnapped Ibadan Village Head had Running Battles With Fulani Herdsmen’–Residents

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The abducted Baale

—Say ​fulani Herdsmen Are On Revenge Mission

Chief Mustapha Ibrahim, the Baale of Araromi-Idowu, in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo state, who was kidnapped along with one of his wives by unknown gunmen on Tuesday night has been having a running battle with killer herdsmen in his domain , it was revealed.

The combined team of policemen, Amotekun and local vigilante group are presently combing the surrounding forest in search of the Baale and his wife who were abducted last night.

When visited on Tuesday evening , the palace was full of visitors who came to sympathise with the family.

There has been no information yet from the kidnappers as at the time of filing this report.

The village, Araro , as it is being called by the natives, is a border town between Oyo and Ogun, close to Government Reservation , about 20 kilometres away from the city of Ibadan , which inhabitants were mainly farmers .
In August, 2019 , Chief Mustapha Ibrahim had reported to the police the massacre of some residents of the community by some Fulani herdsmen, who were alleged to have destroyed crops on farmlands owned by village farmers.

Apart from destroying crops with their cows , the herders ,who he said occupied the nearby federal forest reserves , were also accused of macheting farm owners and raping women on the farms.

Angered by the nefarious activities of the herders, following reports of farmers wounded in the attacks, Chief Ibrahim mobilised local hunters in the village and chased the killer herders out of his domain.

According to the Baale, those who sustained severe injuries were rushed to medical facilities at Omi Adio area of Ibadan.

The Baale was deeply worried that farmers in the village could work on their farmlands during planting season due to fear of attack.

Many farmers , he lamented have been indebted , after taken huge loans from financial institutions but had their farms destroyed by herders who invaded their farms with cows and unleashed violence on them.

The abducted traditional ruler who granted this reporter interview in 2019 after one the bloody encounters with fulani herders had narrated how seven farmers were severely macheted by herdsmen.

Chief Ibrahim had lamented the pains and frustration brought on the poor farmers by the activities of the herdsmen in the agrarian community.

The traditional ruler , while calling on the state governor , Engr. Seyi Makinde and security agencies to intervene in the continued assault and harassment of farmers by fulani herdsmen in the area , stated that his people have abandoned their only means of livelihood ,out fear of attack by the herdsmen.

Trouble started November 2018 , when some groups of fulani herdsmen led by one Babangida invaded farms , and attacked farm owners who challenged them for destroying their crops.

No fewer than seven people sustain varying decrees of machete cuts in the attack.

Chief Ibrahim said since the settlement of the fulani herdsmen in the Government Reserved Area the , the sleepy community has known no peace, with daily complaints by farmers whose farms were being destroyed.

One of the victims, and farm owner , Akande Owoyele who sustained macheted on his head , along seven of his farm workers , accused the fulani herdsmen of destroying farm crops despite series of peace meeting with the community chief.

” I told my boys working in the farm, not to challenge or fight with the herdsmen each time they sight them destroying my crops, but instead they should inform the Baale, and he will know the step to take immediately. We are peace loving people.

” One day, the herdsmen again stormed my farm with their cows. And my boys had to call me, and icalled their leader, Babangida to call his people to order.

He told me that they are not his people, so i told my boys to drive them out of my farm and seize their cutlass and some of their weapons, which i took to police station as evidence.

”The next day , they came and waylaid my boys with dangerous weapons. They were machetted , leaving them with deep cuts . They even carried one of them off with Okada , and threatened to cut off his head into the stream before he was rescued.

”We have to mobilise people into the bush to rescue the injured workers and rushed them to hospital . Babangida was arrested by the police, even the matter was transferred to Iyaganku police station. The following day, i was in my farm, when i saw herds of cows again eating up my crops. Immediately, i called the police station, the police said we should arrest and bring of the straying cows to the station. So, we took one of the cows, and on our way to police station, the fulani herdsmen, waylaid and attacked us, and inflicted deep machete cut on my head , while others suffered severe injuries, ” he explained.

According to him, after the attack, the herdsmen had continued to assault them .
He added that another cow was recently arrested and taken to the police station at Omi Adio, with nobody to claim its ownership since it was arrested.

The traditional ruler noted that since the bloody attack started last year November, the fulani herdsmen have not ceased from attacking our farmers, and destroying farm crops, adding that till yesterday more farmlands were reported to have invaded despite all effort to stop them from destroying crops on farmlands.

” We dont want blood shed and crisis in our community, that why we are begging our people to exercise patience and restraint in the face of provocation. Our people are farmers , and the lands they are using to farm are inherited from their forefathers .

They dont have any occupation for sustenance except farming. But sadly, our farmers are deserting and abandoning their farms out of fear of attack . And they no longer want to go into debts , after incurring alot of debts already . The government should help us to relocate these herdsmen out of our land because are tired of loss of properties , ” he said.

Some of the victims who were attacked were said to have been treated at Emiloju Hospital , while others were admitted at Precious Hospital , both at Omi Adio , Ibadan.

When visited, Dr. Faleye Jacob, of Emiloju Hospital said two of the victims , Ifasesin Salako, and Olabode Owoleye, were brought to his hospital in critical condition, with severe machete cuts and were placed on admission for observation and treatment.

Also, at Precious Hospital, Omi Adio where a victim received medical attention, the medical personnel on duty, Dr. Kayode Ayoola confirmed to this reporter that one of the victims of herdsmen attack , Akande Owoyele, was brought in coma , with machete deep cuts in the head , and bodily injuries.

Some of the residents who spoke of the Tuesday night abduction of the Baale and his wife , said the attack was not unconnected with the running battles Chief Ibrahim have been having with the Fulani herdsmen in the area.

They ,however, called on the state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book without fear or favour.
Culled from “Naija Examiner”

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