The evicted Seriki Fulani of Ibarapa land, Alhaji Salihu Abdulkadir, has denied allegations that he masterminded the fresh attack that rocked Igangan town, in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, last Sunday.
Reacting on Tuesday to allegations made by Asigangan of Igangan, Oba Lasisi Adeoye, that he was behind the latest attack on Igangan town, where unknown assailants killed 11 people and razed several property including a filling station, Abdulkadir said it was wrong to have linked the attack to him.
He said many herders also suffered casualties during the attack, adding that one Fulani man who was neither a cattle rearer nor trader and had been living in Igangan since the 60s was killed on Monday in a reprisal attack on several Fulani settlements.
“I have no hand in the attack and I didn’t engage mercenary anywhere to attack the people on my behalf,” he said.
Abdulkadir said since he was evicted from the community by armed youths led by Sunday Igboho, he has lost many of his people, property and all his investments.
The evicted Seriki who now lives in Ilorin, Kwara State, blamed the attack on the failure of security agencies, saying if the security agencies had been proactive and up and doing, such would not have occurred.He, however, tasked them to go after the perpetrators.
Abdulkadir insisted that the unrest in Ibarapa land was worsened by ethnic profiling where only Fulani herders were tagged as criminals.
He said:” On many occasions, the Yoruba people were arrested for kidnapping and other criminalities in the Ibarapa zone but their arrests never got prominence because they are not Fulani.
“Since my eviction in January, Fulani herders have been living in fear in Ibarapa communities including Ayete, Tapa and Igangan.”
He advised those who are afraid to flee the communities to refrain from taking the laws into their hands.
Abdulkadir called on the Federal Government to intervene over the insecurity in Ibarapa land, saying while the state government is doing its part to restore peace to the warring communities, it needs the support of the Federal Government to achieve lasting peace in the zone.