The Fulani settlers in Eggua community of Yewa North Local Government Area in Ogun State have begged for peaceful coexistence with their Yoruba hosts, promising to identify killer herdsmen among them.
A resident of the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, when recounting how the arrival of Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, led to the burning of the house of the Seriki Fulani in Eggua, told SaharaReporters on Wednesday.
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, arrived at Eggua on Tuesday to assist the community fish out criminal Fulani herders terrorising them.
The house of the Seriki Fulani and a section of Oja-Odan where the Fulani used for trading their cattle were burnt during Igboho’s visit.
Reacting to the incident, the source told SaharaReporters that the Fulani settlers accused the nomads among them of being responsible for all the criminal activities in the area.
“Now, the Seriki Fulani and his people are appealing to us that they want to live peacefully after the incident,” the source said.
“He (Seriki Fulani) told our people that they would do everything possible to identify the criminals among them whom he said are the nomads.
“Before the incident, the Fulani herders made us realise that it was their nomad counterparts who they accommodated that were terrorising the community. It was the consultative meeting on how to drive the nomads out of our land that we were planning to have before we heard about a petition the Fulani people had sent to the police to complain about us (Yoruba hosts). Then the issue of Sunday Igboho came.”
He explained further that suspected killer Fulani herders had earlier petitioned the Federal Special Anti-Robber Squad in Abuja, alleging that Yoruba farmers in the area were distributing weapons to cause chaos.
“Do you know that these killer Fulani herdsmen petitioned the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja to say the Yoruba community in Eggua did not let them live in peace.
“These Fulanis who were the ones responsible for killing our men, raping our women and destroying our farms had the audacity to write a petition against us even after we had brokered a peace deal with them. They even said we were the ones distributing firearms to people to cause unrest.
“We are in this predicament as I speak to you. When we informed the police, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun State, Edward Ajogun, came to our community and had a meeting with us, but claimed that he was not aware of the letter. He only got a copy of the letter and promised to do something about it. But, he utterly said the matter was beyond his control.
“The crux of the matter is that the police have been complacent or indifferent about the whole matter. How can a CP that we have been reporting cases of atrocities committed by the Fulani herders in our community to say he was not aware of the petition against us by the same criminals and also blatantly say the case was beyond him? That calls for concern.”
When asked about the impact of the mayhem and the reactions of the people to the petition against them, he said the traditional rulers in the area had taken up the case.
“The chaos didn’t affect the farmers. It didn’t affect us but what happened was that when he (Igboho) came, we in Eggua were not aware of his arrival. When he arrived, some people pointed the house of Seriki Fulani to him, and went there straight to raze it. They also burnt the market square belonging to the Fulani in Eggua. The community gave them the place where they sell their cows when there was still peace.
“The Yoruba were not harmed or affected in any way. There was no reprisal from the Fulani.
“About the petition, the council of traditional rulers in Yewa and the council of Obas in Ogun State are aware of the case. Therefore, I think they have taken a step to engage the services of a legal representative.
“Sunday Igboho and his people left the same day they arrived after carrying out the task of burning the house of Seriki Fulani. He didn’t inform our traditional ruler before his arrival, so they didn’t see face-to-face before he went to carry out his task. Our king told him that he didn’t inform him before coming and carrying out what they did, and he replied, saying that he only came to pay homage and do his job,” said the source.