Indigenes of Ibarapaland in Oyo State, southwest Nigeria, have insisted on the stoppage of open grazing in their territory by the Fulani herdsmen as the beginning of restoring peace in the area. The indigenes, in media interactions in Ibadan on Wednesday, however, disclosed their willingness to support initiatives toward containing the perennial security crises in the area.
It was highlighted that Ibarapaland consists seven towns – Igboora, Eruwa, Idere, Igangan, Ayete, Tapa and Lanlate.
The perennial insecurity which include killings, rape, kidnap and destruction of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen led to the quit notice issued by the host communities to herdsmen.
A traditional ruler, Oba Adedamola Badmus, Olu-Aso of Iberekodoland in Igboora, was gathered to have decried the ravaging insecurity in Ibarapaland.
The traditional ruler noting that the people of Ibarapaland are peace-loving, lamented that the main source of the insecurity crisis in the area is open grazing by herders.
Oba Adedamola Badmus declared: “the crisis started from farmers-herders clashes. There would always be clashes when cattle destroy farmlands. Most farmers suffer a lot and loses huge amount to farmland destruction.
“There are so many issues such as kidnap, rape, destruction of farmlands and killings to address, but the process should begin from the prohibition of open grazing,” he said.
“Fulanis resident in the town were not chased from the town. We only ensured that no strangers are allowed to infiltrate their ranks to cause further chaos.
“This is one of the demands of our subjects and we stand by it. As traditional rulers, we are doing our best to ensure peace reigns in our respectively domains.”
Another traditional ruler, Oba Sunday Titiloye, Elempe of Tapa, was reported to have lamented that no fewer than 10 indigenes of Ibarapa had been killed by the suspected herders. He advocated for the intervention of the state government. according to Oba Sunday Titiloye, “The Oyo State Government should call a meeting to put find a solution to the crisis.”
Meanwhile, Oba Kingsley Onikola, Onidere of Idereland, was gathered to have disclosed that the traditional rulers in Ibarapa had scheduled a meeting Governor Seyi Makinde on Thursday for the submission of the demands of their subjects, including means of resolving the crisis.
However, the Oyo State Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Ibrahim Jiji, was said to have appealed for resolution of the crisis and restoration of peace in the area.
Jiji was said to have sent an appeal to Makinde to set up a peace and security committee at the local government level, declaring the readiness of the Fulani community to cooperate with the committee as well as comply with government policies.
He appealed to the people of Ibarapa to embrace love and peaceful coexistence, adding they can all live together in peace.
Jiji was cited to have said: “I have spent more than 35 years in Oyo State, and I know the Yoruba people to be peace-loving. There would always be bad eggs in every society or group.
“Herdsmen who have been destroying plantations on farmlands are not those residing in the town, but strangers.
“When we suspected some herders, we handed them over to Amotekun outfit. I believe their commandant can confirm this.”
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