WHEN the uninvited messengers of death invaded Igangan community in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, they left in their trail blood, tears and pains.
Houses, where they committed the heinous crimes, can best be described as slaughter slabs.
There were clots of blood all around, flies of different species feasted on the caked blood of the victims.
One wonders if the ancestors of Igangan went to sleep when the assailants struck.
These harbingers of death, who reportedly operated from 11 pm on Saturday till 4am, on Sunday, desecrated the royal stool of the monarch in the city, Oba Lasisi Adeoye.
They aimed at his life but his ancestors prevented him from sleeping in the palace which they ransacked and burnt to ashes.
Other buildings too were torched by the marauders.
So far, the residents claimed they counted 25 bodies, while the Oyo State Police Command put the death toll at 11.
Though fragile peace is noticeable in the troubled spots, stern-looking soldiers have taken over the security of the sleepy town.
Vanguard gathered that the General Officer Commanding 2 Div, Nigerian Army in the company of about eight vehicles had visited the place.
The Commissioner of Police, too, Ngozi Onadeko was there immediately after the carnage.
According to one of the local securitymen who confronted the hoodlums, the attackers would have recorded more casualties on their side “if the Federal Government had licensed us to carry arms.”
Youths angry with police
It was the intervention of the Chairman of Ibadan North Local Government, Mr. Lateef Lawal that prevented the angry youths from burning down the police station in the area.
The youths claimed that the police were partial in their duties alleging that they were exposing them to danger.
Women go into hiding
Findings by Vanguard revealed that women in Igangan and its environs have gone into hiding for fear of being caught by the hoodlums.
Vanguard was reliably informed that except for men, women now stay indoors.
Also, the looks of the youths, who now keep 24-hour vigilance, were not inviting. But for the local vigilante man who was of tremendous help, they were not ready to receive any visitor.
The remnants of Fulani men, who waited after the eviction of the Seriki, were said to have fled the town for fear of being attacked by the angry youths.
Attack was a reprisal—Source
Speaking on the possible cause of the attack, the spokesperson of Igangan people, Mr. Taiwo Adeagbo said the attack which, he maintained, was carried out by Fulani herders was a revenge mission.
When asked from another source why they said it was a reprisal, he said, some people recognised one of the attackers to be an aide to the exiled Seriki and that one man who was close to Wakili was also sighted.
According to information gathered, the hoodlums went straight to the palace of the king, Oba Adeoye to avenge the burning of the palace of their Seriki who was forced to flee at the climax of the crisis in January this year.
Why we’re yet to fight for Yoruba—Agbekoya
The National Leader of Agbekoya, a revolutionary group, Chief Olalekan Akeekaka said the attackers would not have been able to get away with the attacks if the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji had given them the approval to defend the zone.
Akeekaka said: “The Federal Government did not give us the license to carry AK 47. The bandits have sophisticated weapons. Anyone who confronts them with ordinary Dane guns will waste his life.
“If we go there now, if they shoot at us, we will be forced to respond. If any of them dies, the government will come for us. See the case of the OPC men that arrested Wakili, an alleged serial kidnapper. Up till now, the OPC men are still in detention.
“In the alternative, let the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji give us approval that we should go ahead so that if things go awry, we will have someone we can run to for cover.”
Sunday Igboho on the trail of bandits
On Monday, the Yoruba freedom proponent, Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Igboho went with his men to Igangan where he pacified Igangan residents.
Immediately he entered the town, his spokesperson, Mr. Oluyomi Koiki announced his arrival which attracted a large crowd.
Vanguard gathered that Igboho, who was in Ekiti State at the time of the attack, is on the trail of the hoodlums.
Igboho who wore a forlorn look was seen in a viral video waving intermittently to the cheering crowd.
Speaking with Vanguard, the Balogun of Idiyan which is some kilometers away from Igangan, said Igboho paid a visit to the ruler of Idiyan where he was entertained by the king. He then continued his journey.
FG should allow Amotekun bear arms —Senator Balogun
While condemning the attack, Senator Kola Balogun, who represents Oyo South in the Senate, said to curb the wanton destruction of lives and property by these bandits, the Federal Government should grant the Western Nigeria Security Network permission to carry arms.
He said: “Amotekun is active and the outfit is working even with the police. As a matter of fact, the situation would have been worse but for Amotekun and other local security outfits because from the report that I got, the people that came to invade had bigger plans than what happened.
“It was the community, the Amotekun and the local vigilantes that were mobilised in the middle of the night even though they were ambushed because they were not expecting them; they mitigated the effects of the damage”
A source told Vanguard that there is still tension in Igangan as most people are armed to forestall another occurrence.
The soldiers too were parading the streets to nip any other crisis in the bud.
Makinde sues for peace, Alaafin condemns attacks
Governor Seyi Makinde said he was briefed about the incident advising the opposition party, APC, not to politicize the attack.
He said: “As we speak, insecurity has been weaponised and decentralised, while all parts of the country have become endangered. Even the President’s own state of Katsina is not spared as the sad incidents of kidnapping and killings continue to happen even during his official visits to the state.
“The APC in Oyo State has zero justification to comment on the security situation in the state, as we all know that the Constitution of Nigeria has completely vested the command and control of security agencies in the President. If the President has refused to use his constitutionally granted power to curb insecurity, why should members of his party attempt to shift the blame to Governor Makinde, who has provided needed logistics for all security agencies in the state, while also setting up homegrown initiatives to tackle insecurity?
“If the APC leaders want to be patriotic, they will call on the leader of their party, President Buhari, to wake up and stop the unwarranted killings across the land: the kidnapping of school children and other innocent Nigerians and fix the economy.
On his part, the Alaafin, through his Media and Publicity Director, Mr. Bode Durojaiye, said: “The fundamental thing is how you deal with these challenges. We can sustain national security operations or options by using native intelligence gathering as a response to a national security threat.
“It is important for the government to take a holistic view on information gathering as a system for addressing insecurity, just as there is the urgent need to deploy technologies required for the identification of criminal suspects.”
“As the permanent chairman of Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, and as a custodian of traditions and values, traditional rulers are the ones who keep peace in our rural areas and in the various local governments that constitute our State. We are indeed formidable barricades which reinforce peace and security of the nation.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Adewale Osifeso confirmed that 11 people died while the crisis lasted.