Igangan massacre: Another killing taken too far

The atmosphere in Ibarapa LGA presently is tensed as BAYO AGBOOLA reports that the prevailing peace in Igangan at the moment is akin to the quietness of a grave yard owing to the recent massacre in that town.
The once quiet and sleepy town of Igangan in Ibarapa North local government area of Oyo state was again lately  in the news as the town on Saturday, June 5 witnessed another gory invasion of the town by gunmen suspected to be bandits who were shooting sporadically and at the end left no fewer than 10 people including some of the bandits dead.To say the recent killings in Igangan has added to the fears of insecurity in the country particularly in the South-west is an understatement going by reactions so far on the mode of attack.

Yoruba group condemn attack
Leader of the umbrella body of all Yoruba self determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, Professor Banji Akintoye, said Igangan killings was another clear indication that Yoruba land has been surrounded by  bandits and that the time has come for South West Governors to put aside constitutional objections and defend their people going by the fact that federal government has failed to defend Yoruba land.”Yoruba land has been surrounded and we must act now. It must now be clear to all Yoruba people of all classes and economic circumstances that war has come in a big way to our homeland. This war has been coming relentlessly for five years, but some of our own people failed to understand the full intent and impact of it. Some have thought the answer is to do one constitutional or political thing to Nigeria and the war would go away. But we must now all know that such propositions concerning Nigeria are blatantly unrealistic. Indeed, these endanger Yoruba land, the people and civilisation by diverting the attention of our people from the manifest reality of our time. We now call on all Yoruba people at home and abroad to focus on the danger of the moment in a manner that will be powerful enough to preserve our nation and civilisation.” Professor Akintoye stressed further that, “First, we call on our state governors to push aside all the constitutional objections that have been constantly raised from certain quarters whenever our governors take measures to defend our people. In the light of all the foregoings, we call on all our governors to stop letting objections by federal officials to obstruct the defence of our people. We call on all Yoruba people to rise up as one to defeat this danger. Yoruba nation has a proud history that we have never been conquered. Let us not succumb to conquest now. Let us thank the countless young people of our land who have been standing up against the invasion of our land.”

OPC too
The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) Oyo state chapter said, “OPC is ready to assist all security agencies in making sure that peace reigns in all nooks and crannies of the state.The state OPC coordinator, Comrade Rotimi Olumo during a chat with journalists said, “Government should give OPC the full power to resist the Fulani herdsmen in Oyo state. We arrested and handed over Wakili to the police some months ago. I can tell you that up till now three of our members are still in police custody because of Wakili”, he said. Condemning the killings and destruction of properties in Igangan that Saturday night by herdsmen, Comrade Olumo said, “Ever since Isikilu Wakili was arrested by OPC members there had never been a day in Ibarapa land that innocent citizens are not killed. I can tell you that the security situation in Ibarapa land is very worrisome. He has instructed all his members in Ibarapa land to resist any further attack on Ibarapa land.”On that black Saturday, the bandits were said to have reportedly invaded the town in the mid night on 20 motorcycles when most of the residents were sleeping thereby catching them unawares. Most of the people were awoken by the gunshots during which the bandits succeeded in razing down the palace of the traditional ruler, Asigangan of Igangan. Also, many houses, a popular petroleum station and some vehicles among others, were also touched.An eye witness who is also the secretary of Farmers Union in the state, Mr Taiwo Adeagbo, while narrating his experiences that night said the bandits after having free moment for minutes, were confronted by security agencies leading to the death of five of them.Another community leader in the town and former caretaker chairman of Ibarapa North Hon Tunji Omolewu said, ”People had barely retired to bed when they sighted motorcycles entering the town. Before our people could know what was going on, they had started killing people.”

Gov Makinde doused tension
Apparently sensing what could be the likely fallout of the killings in the sleepy town, Governor Seyi Makinde in a statement he personally signed pleaded for calm and pleaded for peaceful coexistence among residents in the troubled communities as tension continued to mount over the late night killings which, no doubt, sent warning about what could be a dangerous signals throughout the state. Governor Makinde in seemingly dousing the tension said in his statement that security operatives have been deployed to take control of the area. “I am currently being briefed on the incidents. I urge residents to remain calm as security operatives are now in control of the situation.”
Ooni expressed concern
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi in condemning the Igangan killings expressed that continuous killings across the country by gunmen suspected to be bandits constitute major threat to unity and prosperity of Nigeria. The Ooni in a statement by the director of media and public affairs at the palace, Comrade Moses Olafare, stressed that the killings if allowed to continue unabated would ruin the unity and prosperity of Nigeria. “Without mincing words, the Igangan killings was devilish and provocative, and that it must not go without strong  consequences for the perpetrators.”So worrisome it is that there was a tip-off recently by  Oyo state chairman of Amotekun Security Corps, General. Ajibola Togun (rtd) recently raising the alarm that some foreign Fulani herdsmen and bandits of Tuareg extraction had perfected plans to invade communities in the South-west. Such an attack in which victims credibly traced some perpetrators from a particular section of the country is capable of disintegrating this country. That is why those behind it must be smoked out of their jungles and dealt with accordingly.There is no better time for robust security measures than now because security of lives and properties of Nigerians is the basis upon which government is being constituted.”

So also Alafin of Oyo
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, in his reaction to the killings described the attack as disheartening, dehumanizing, and inhumanity of man to man.”In spite of efforts made at curtailing this ugly menace long before it started staring us in the face, the incidence still occurred.”Several Fulanis have been arrested and handed over to the police in Oyo state, but there hasn’t been any conviction or diligent prosecution.These arrested Fulanis are usually back on the street 24 hours after been arrested for various heinous crimes.” 

We are on top of situation-Police
The Oyo state police command amidst the tensed security situation in the communities said in a statement that, “The unscrupulous elements were however repelled by a combination of operational and tactical assets immediately deployed to the scene to restore normalcy and that the situation is being closely monitored and comprehensive investigations are ongoing to apprehend the perpetrators.”

The NUJ’s counsel
The Oyo state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) minced no words in condemning the killings and demanded the arrest and perpetrators of the incident. To cap it all, the union in a statement jointly signed by its chairman, Comrade Ademola Babalola and secretary, Sola Oladapo asked Governor Makinde to without wasting more time rise to the challenges by convening a security summit in the state as a way of finding a lasting solutionto the increasing spate of insecurity situation in Ibarapa land, Oke Ogun and across Oyo state entirely.The union like other bodies described the Igangan killings as inhuman, cruel and barbaric and that the actions was avoidable if appropriate authorities evolve adequate measures and acts on time based on the intelligence information at their disposal. It therefore tasked both the federal and state governments to put in place adequate measures aimed at forestaling the ugly trend.With the present situation in Igangan and other parts of the state and even going by the feelers from the neighbouring South-west states, it is glaring that there is palpable fears and tension in the land which deserves urgent attention by the government at all levels as well as major stakeholders as the saying goes that a stitch in time saves nine.