The police in Oyo State have confirmed the death of 11 people in an attack on Igangan community in Ibarapa area of the state.
The police in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday by its spokesperson, Adewale Osifeso, said several properties were also destroyed during the late Saturday attack.
“On 5th June 2021 at about 2310hrs, suspected armed bandits in their numbers invaded Igangan Community in the dead of the night to unleash mayhem on unsuspecting members therein.
“In the process, Eleven (11) persons including some of the assailants were confirmed dead, while some vehicles and buildings including the Palace of the Asigangan of Igangan town and a filling station were torched.
“Consequent upon the unfortunate occurrence, the Commissioner of Police embarked on an on the spot assessment on 6th June, 2021, to critically assess the level and cause of damages on the various sites of killings and arsons.”
The police said more personnel have been deployed to the area to prevent further breakdown of law and order.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the community came under attack in the early hours of Sunday as gunmen suspected to be herdsmen set houses, a filling station and the king’s palace ablaze.
Our correspondent obtained pictures and videos of hacked and bloodied human bodies. Residents said the gunmen stormed the community with over 20 motorcycles.
Governors condemn killing
In his reaction to the attack, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State in a statement on behalf of the six South-west governors condemned the killings.
Mr Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the South-west governors forum, said “certain elements are bent on causing friction among the peoples of this country with the sole aim of achieving a pernicious end. They will stop at nothing until their set goal is realized. It is, therefore, incumbent on all lovers of peace and freedom to rise against this current regression into savagery.”
“We on our part are resolved to defend our people, their property, and all legitimate means of livelihood against both internal and external aggression. On this, there will be no compromise. We call on our people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movement in their communities. In addition, they must be united in the task of defending our lives and properties. We cannot afford to fail,” he said.
The killing has also been condemned by many Nigerians including the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams.
“This is one killing too many, I will not fold my arms seeing the blood of innocent people being shed like it is in Igangan,” Mr Adams said in his statement.
The attack on Igangan comes months after a self-acclaimed activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, led a crowd to Igangan to eject the head of the Fulani community there, Salihu Abdulkadir.
He accused Mr Abdulkadir of backing criminal herdsmen whom he alleged were responsible for the kidnapping and killing of farmers and residents of the community. Mr Abdulkadir denied the allegation but he was nonetheless forcefully ejected from a community he had lived in for decades.
The federal and Oyo State governments frowned at the development, saying no citizen has the right to eject other citizens from wherever they wished to reside in the country.
Igangan residents said on Sunday that they believe the latest attack was a retaliation for the eviction of Mr Abdulkadir.
APC calls for security summit
The main opposition party in Oyo State, APC, in its reaction to the attack, called on Governor Seyi Makinde to convene a security summit promptly to address the security challenges in the state.
“Obviously and certainly, the current situation of Oyo State was not what Makinde and PDP took over from the immediate past APC government in the state under Governor Abiola Ajimobi in 2019,” the Oyo APC spokesperson, AbdulAzeez Olatunde, said.
“The excuse of general security issues has been with us in Nigeria since 2009 even before Ajimobi took over the mantle of governance in 2011. In spite of the issues, Ajimobi secured Oyo State,” it said.
The APC also asked the governor to make public how much he had spent so far on the state’s monthly security.