Three farmers have been hospitalized after taking bullets from gunmen in the pockets of farmer-herder crisis ratcheting up in the Ibarapa East of Oyo last week.
The gunmen identified as Fulani/Bororo shot the farmers in three separate incidents between March 23 and 26.
Okunola Emmanuel got shot when he wandered into a ring of the bandits who held a number of other locals hostage in the countryside of Eruwa on March 23.
“He was returning from his farm when he stumbled on them,” said Fatai Agirifa, the head of the OPC at Eruwa “They shot him and ran away. It was the other hostages who took him to Awojobi Hospital.”
Emmanuel was however referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun, where he was eventually taken back to Awojobi Hospital because he couldn’t afford the medical bill.
“He is asked to bring N300, 000 now at Awojobi.” Agirifa told the National Daily Sunday evening.
According to him, men of the OPC joined forces with the police to trail the bandits in the bush. The expedition yielded no arrest.
But the following day, another farmer was shot by the bandits. The security team scarcely returned from their second search when the criminals shot another farmer.
The last victim was taken someplace where the bullets were extracted the traditional way before he was referred to a hospital, said Agirifa.
One of the Fulani leaders the National Daily contacted would not believe it was a Fulani gang shooting about.
“We have always wanted peace in Ibarapa East here, no matter what they do to us,” said Mustapha Aliyu, Jam Nat Fulbe’s spokesperson. “ We have decided not to fight back. So I don’t believe that report.”
Community leaders, including the Fulani’s, and Oyo government have been projecting an impression of calm in the Ibarapa East despite wild-cat strikes by Fulani bandits around the entire Ibarapaland and some parts of Oke Ogun.
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