Following a nocturnal attack on Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo state on Sunday by the suspected Fulani herdsmen which claimed the lives of several innocent people, the six Southwest governors have resolved to defend the region against any forms of attack.
This becomes imperative based on the attack launched on Igangan early Sunday morning where several people were either killed or injured in a reported reprisal attack believed to have been carried out to retaliate recent dislodgement of alleged criminals among Fulani herdsmen hitherto resident in Igangan.
Speaking on behalf of fellow governors in Southwest in Akure, Ondo state capital on Sunday, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, declared that the six Southwest governors were resolved to defend all residents of Southwest against both internal and external aggression as the Igangan attack is provocative of Southwest and its people, and such a barbaric attack would not go unchecked.
The Chairman, Southwest Governor’s Forum has therefore directed the Commanders of the Southwest Security Network, popularly known as Amotekun Corps, to convoke a joint security meeting of all Commanders in the region with a view to commencing joint operations in the region immediately over the recent attack on the people of Igangan, Ibarapa, of Oyo state.
Governor Akeredolu, in a statement signed personally and made available to journalists in Akure on Sunday said, “we have just received with rude shock premeditated attack on our people at Igangan, Ibarapa, Oyo State, in the early hours of today. This cowardly onslaught on a peaceful community has occasioned loss of lives and property on a large scale.
“It is horrendous, callous, and highly provocative. All well-meaning Nigerians must condemn, in the strongest term possible, this latest assault on decency and communal harmony.
“While we will encourage the security agencies to get to the root of this latest act of provocation, we have directed the Commanders of the South West Security Network, Amotekun, to convoke a joint security meeting of all Commanders in the South West with a view to commencing joint operations in the region immediately.
“We must reiterate the fact that certain elements are bent on causing friction among the peoples of this country with the sole aim of achieving a pernicious end. They will stop at nothing until their set goal is realized. It is, therefore, incumbent on all lovers of peace and freedom to rise against this current regression into savagery.
“We on our part are resolved to defend our people, their property, and all legitimate means of livelihood against both internal and external aggression. On this, there will be no compromise. We call on our people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movement in their communities. In addition, they must be united in the task of defending our lives and properties. We cannot afford to fail.”
While corroborating the position of Southwest governors on plan to defend the lives and properties of Southwest people, Sola Olalere, Head of Local Hunters in Ibarapa North Local Government, told BusinessDay that the local hunters in company of Security agencies and Amotekun Corps are on the trail of fleeing criminals that attacked Igangan area and other suspected criminals among Fulani herdsmen that may want to wreck another havocs on any Yoruba communities.
“We had to quickly come back from Akure and Ado-Ekiti where we had gone for security meetings and rally in support of Yoruba nation when we were told that suspected Fulani herdsmen had started attacking and killing our people in Igangan.
“We quickly rushed to Igangan via Ibadan early hours of Sunday. Though, they had really attacked and killed people, we however repelled further attack and we chased the attackers to Oke Oyan, a border town between Oyo and Ogun states.
“We are not retracting soon as we have also alerted our people in Ogun state to be battle-ready. By God’s grace, we shall chase all these criminals out of Southwest. We appreciate the position of our Governors on possible defence against the criminals in any forms, we are therefore ready to ward off any possible attacks against our people”, Olalere said.
Meanwhile, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state has sued for calm, having been briefed about the nocturnal attacks on the people of Igangan, in Ibarapa axis of the state on Sunday.
Governor Makinde, in a press statement he personally signed and made available, noted that he was shocked to receive the reports of the attacks, saying: “I am currently being briefed on the incidents. I urge residents to remain calm as security operatives are now in control of the situation.”
The Police in Oyo state has also announced its readiness to arrest the situation and bring the culprits to book. The Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, Ngozi Onadeko, had led a team of policemen and top Security Advisers of Governor Makinde, including retired Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni, on an assessment tour of the affected areas on Sunday with a view to combing the area and forestalling further attacks in the area.