Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and traditional rulers in the state, will visit Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of the state today to deliberate on how to restore peace to Ibarapaland.
The Deputy Chairman, Oyo State Council of Obas, Oba Francis Alao, who said this in an interview with Punch on Saturday, said the meeting was organised primarily to ensure that peace returned to the area.
Violence had erupted in Igangan, Ibarapa, on Friday when a popular Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, well known as Sunday Igboho, alongside his followers, stormed the Fulani settlement in the ancient town to eject Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and herdsmen accused of perpetrating crimes ranging from kidnappings, killings, rape to invasion of farmlands with their cattle.
The monarch said a team of the state government would represent the governor while a team from the office of the IGP would stand in for Adamu, noting that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ngozi Onadeko, would be present at the meeting.
He said, “I am going there tomorrow (today) to hold a meeting with all the traditional rulers in Ibarapaland. The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State too will be there. A team from the Inspector-General of Police Office will also be there. The state government (representatives) will also be there.
“All we want to do is to ensure there is peace in the area for everybody to coexist peacefully. I am going in my position as the Deputy Chairman, Oyo State Obas Council. We have told all traditional rulers from the three local government areas in Ibarapaland to be there.
“There is an ongoing reconciliatory effort at Tede, Ago Are and Ago Amodu in the Atisbo Local Government Area. I am coordinating that and everybody should sue for peace. Everybody should eschew violence and embrace peace while the security agents will do their investigation.”
The Asigangan of Igangan, Oba Lasisi Adeoye, also confirmed to our correspondent in Ibadan that he and traditional rulers from Ibarapaland would be part of the meeting,
He said, “All the Obas in Ibarapa will hold a meeting here in Igangan tomorrow (today) and the Olugbon will be here for the meeting.”
Sources said the government delegation would visit the troubled spots to assess the extent of the damage.
“The delegation will also engage the youth to calm frayed nerves and ensure that peace is restored to the troubled areas,” a source told Sunday PUNCH.
It is not clear as of press time who will lead the government team, but sources said Makinde had constituted a high-powered delegation among his senior officials to embark on the trip.
Sources added that a full report on the Ibarapa situation would be made public by the government and the police after the assessment tour.
On the heels of invasion of Ibarapaland by Igboho and his loyalists, the IG, Adamu, had reportedly ordered the state police commissioner, Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Igboho.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, was quoted as revealing the arrest order in a report on the BBC Hausa Service current affairs programme, Ra’ayi Riga, on Friday.
“He just got off the telephone with the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police, who confirmed to him that he had ordered the arrest of Igboho, who is to be brought to Abuja,” Shehu was quoted in the report.
It added, “Igboho is among topics that have generated public discussion on social media in Nigeria on Friday since he visited Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government (of Oyo State) where he insisted that all Fulani residents in Oyo State must leave as long as kidnapping continues.
“Last week, Igboho visited the Fulani community in Igangan where he gave them a seven-day ultimatum to leave the state after accusing the Fulani in the area of murder and kidnapping, among other crimes. But during his return to the area this time around, he explained what he meant.
“Mallam Garba Shehu said the government was having a hard time punishing (such) offenders because of the activities of human rights organisations. Garba Shehu said the order given by the Inspector-General of Police, for now, is that Igboho should be arrested and brought to Abuja to be taken to court to face prosecution.”