Ibarapa: Fulani leaders beg for forgiveness, seek peaceful co-existence

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Some Fulani leaders in Ibarapa area of Oyo State have sought forgiveness from locals after Friday’s face-off between Yoruba and Fulani people in Igangan area of Ibarapa North Local Government Area.

After a week-long ultimatum for Fulani herdsmen to vacate their settlement in the town, Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho led his supporters and the townspeople to evict the herders on Friday.

There were also reports that the residence of the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir and other houses and vehicles in the settlement were burnt.

Residents accused Abdulkadir of complicity in the negotiation of ransom for Yoruba victims incessantly kidnapped by Fulani people in the area.

They equally accused the Fulani people of perpetrating killings, rape, and invasion of farmlands with their cattle, causing economic loss to farmers.

However, the Fulani leaders, the Seriki Fulani of Igbo Ora, Alhaji Idris Abubakar, and the Seriki Fulani of Eruwa, Alhaji Sule Mohammed, spoke when a state government delegation visited the town on Sunday.

The two Fulani leaders appealed to the residents for forgiveness and called for peaceful co-existence between the Yoruba and Fulani people in Ibarapaland.

They also assured the people of Oyo State that they would facilitate lasting peace and peaceful co-existence in Ibarapaland.

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Meanwhile, residents of Igangan in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State present during the state government’s delegation visit recounted their ordeals in the hands of Fulani herdsmen.

The community also presented to the delegation, pictures and other evidence of ransoms paid to the herdsmen. They accused the Seriki Fulani of complicity in the negotiation of ransoms.

During the meeting, those who paid ransoms to the bandits presented pictorial evidence to back up their claims.

The traditional ruler of Igangan, the Asigangan of Igangan, Oba Abdulazeez Adeoye, whose cousin was kidnapped, tendered the evidence of the ransom he paid to secure his release.

Residents also stormed the venue of the meeting with photographs of those who were killed and those who suffered attacks in the hands of criminal herdsmen.

Oba Adeoye told The Punch that victims and their families came to the meeting with photographs to back up their claims.

He said, “Our people brought photos. I also showed the evidence of ransom paid for one of my children.”

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