The Seriki Fulani of Ibarapa, Oyo State, Alhaji Salihu Abdulkadir, has debunked the allegation leveled against him that he is behind kidnapping, killings and other atrocities perpetrated by herdsmen in Igangan town.
Yoruba freedom fighter, Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Igboho, brought the security issues confronting Igangan and the entire Ibarapa to the fore when he visited the Seriki and issued him a seven-day ultimatum to leave the town because of the crime being perpetrated against the people.
However, while speaking in an interview with Sunday Punch, the Seriki said Yoruba people were behind kidnapping in the area and not Fulani contrary to the claims of the Yoruba people.
He also said he would like to go back to Igangan if the government could assure him of his safety while saying that Igboho should be punished according to the law.
“If the government can assure me of my safety, I would love to go back ( to Igangan).
“I want the government to investigate this matter and tell us what our offence is. As regards Sunday Igboho, I believe whoever kills should be punished under the law.”
The embattled Seriki said he knew nothing about the death of Dr Fatai Aborode, saying he was close to his ( Aborode) father.
He said, “This allegation is false. Whoever said so should come out and say it to my face. The person should name the people that I negotiated with kidnappers to release. I will be happy to see such a person who can come out and present a proof that I served as a negotiator and collected ransom for the kidnapers.
“There is nothing like that. I have been the person reporting cases of kidnapping of both Yoruba and Fulani victims in the area. The records are there with the police both in Eruwa and Ibadan. People should take the pain to find out. How can I be a godfather to the kidnappers?
“Majority of kidnapped victims in Ibarapa were Fulani people and if I count them, they are up to 24. Among them were those killed after the kidnappers collected ransom. On the other hand, the number of Yoruba that were kidnapped in Igangan cannot even be up to four.”
He said he went and reported the eviction notice given to him by Igboho to the deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, who he said assured him that nothing would happen to him.
Seriki claimed that he reported to the Commissioner of Police and policemen were assigned to guard his house but shortly before Igboho stormmed the town again, the policemen were withdrawn.
“A day to Sunday Igboho’s arrival, the Area Commander invited me and told me to settle the matter with Sunday Igboho amicably. But about five hours to the arrival of Sunday Igboho and the Area Commander, the Area Commander called me and told me to come and meet them.
“Then a soldier informed me of the ambush that Sunday Igboho had planned for me. Before I knew it, people bombarded my house with weapons and they burnt my house and killed six people. I also lost my only brother during the attack. We were only two from my mother. My brother was killed in the attack and up till now we cannot go to the place to bury him.”