Residents of Igangan in the Ibarapa North-West Local Council Development Area of Oyo State have warned the now-ejected Seriki Fulani, Abdulkadri Saliu, never to return to the community.
Recall that the Seriki Fulani was chased out by Yoruba activist Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho.
Saliu who stated that he would consider moving back to Igangan, disclosed that he now resides in Ilorin, Kwara State with his family.
“If given opportunity to return to the community I would consider moving back to Igangan,” Saliu said on Thursday.
Speaking on Friday to The Punch, the Convener, Igangan Development Advocates, Oladiran Oladokun, claimed that allowing the return of Salihu is tantamount to self-suicide.
He said: “The entire town would rather go into self-suicide than to accept Seriki back. We would rather lay down our lives than for us and our generations to come to be subjected to the evil reign of Seriki again.”
According to Oladokun, residents of the town have been at peace since the eviction of the Seriki Fulani and his men.
He said farmers now have renewed hope of returning to their farms to continue agricultural activities without fear of being raped, kidnapped and killed.
“Our people will not allow that reign, that enslavement to come back now that they have tasted freedom a little.
“We are now relieved. People can’t go to farm for so many months but people are now thinking of going back to their farms and they are now having hope of a better life and you want to take that hope from them? Our people won’t allow that,” he said.
He added: “In the media, people perceive what happened in Igangan as an exaggeration. But for about 20 years, Igangan lived under the oppressive blood carnage championed by the Seriki himself. How do I know? Why is it that on every occasion, no Fulani has been prosecuted?”
“If the Seriki is really who he claims to be and he cares so much about the town, why did he not bring out at least one culprit and say, ‘Igangan people, this one that you claimed killed a farmer last week, this is him, we got him for you. We don’t want criminals amongst us, we don’t people to tarnish our image.’ Why hasn’t the Seriki done that over the years?
“Seriki claimed he had no control over Igangan but it is a lie; he held control over the town and the killings, he held sway over Igangan, even the Asigangan of Igangan land and the chiefs were helpless and they bowed to him. That is why they (herders) committed a crime, they would go to him (Seriki) and he would ask them to relax even if they killed or raped a woman in the farm. He would tell them it was the Ja’mah (congregation) that did it.”