Residents of Ayete, Igangan and Tapa in the Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State on Monday morning denied a statement credited to the Oyo State government that peace had returned to the area.
The residents said the presence of Wakili Fulani in Ayete was a threat to residents.
Wakili has been described as a notorious Fulani man wreaking havoc and causing unrest in the area.
A farmer who resides in Ayete, Raji Idowu, told SaharaReporters that Fulani herdsmen were still on his farm as at Sunday morning, saying he wondered where government got the “fake” information from.
The state government through the Commandant of the Oyo State Security Network Agency (Amotekun Corps), Col. Olayinka Olayanju (rtd), on Monday morning declared that Ibarapaland was safe and free of killer herdsmen and kidnappers.
The commandant said that he would volunteer to lead anyone interested in taking a tour of the parts of Ibarapaland said to be under the control of killer herdsmen to the area.
He also denounced some audio and video posts on social media, which he accused of raising “clearly unfounded alarms” about the security situation in Ibarapa, saying that he had been moving in and out of the area for days.
According to him, farmers and law-abiding people in the area are going about their business without molestation.
But Raji Idowu queried why the commandant would volunteer to follow anyone willing to visit the areas if peace had truly returned there.
A resident of Igangan, Mutiu Rahaman, also described the statement made by the government as fake, saying, “We are still living in fear in Ibarapa North.”
He said the new information reaching them in the area had it that some Fulani hersmen in military uniforms had left Oke Ogun axis and were heading towards Ibarapa North.
“My brother, it is a lie that peace has returned and people have been going to their farms. Though there are some safe areas where our people could farm even during the troubled time, they still cannot farm like before. Let the governor himself come to our farms without security, if truly he believes those lies.”
A source close to the Asawo of Ayete, Emmanuel Okeniyi, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some reliable sources from Oke Ogun told them that some Fulani herdsmen in fake army uniform were coming towards Ibarapa North, adding that the government should tackle the problem before it would turn into a monster.
He said peace has not returned to their land as the government has claimed.
He said, “We are still at home, living in fear of attack. Wakili is deadly. The government never looked at that angle of our story. Our people are still living in fear. Before God and man, those people are still intimidating our people. We will be happy, if Sunday Igboho can come and chase Wakili out of this place.”
Igboho recently gave Fulani herdsmen a seven-day ultimatum to vacate the Ibarapa area, blaming them for the killings and kidnappings going on there.
The issue became controversial and while some people hailed him for that, others condemned him, saying he lacked the right to ask any Nigerian to leave the community.
A resident of Tapa simply identified as Jimoh also confirmed to SaharaReporters that killer hersmen were still terrorising the area.
He said, “It is true Amotekun men are here but they cannot follow us to the village. It is a lie that the killer herdsmen have gone. Our people are living in fear still. I also heard the information but it will be good if the government can act now,” he said.
SaharaReporters, New York