Chief Adamu Ibrahim is the Sarkin Fulani of Igua, Yewa North Local Area of Ogun State. Barely five weeks after his houses and property were set on fire during Sunday Igboho’s visit to the area, Ibrahim spoke exclusively to DAILY POST’s ISHOLA OLUDARE from an undisclosed location..
I used to have a record of the killings in my house. But it was burnt during Sunday Igboho’s visit to my house in Igua. So I can’t remember right now. But if you go to the CP’s office or if you visit the DPO of Igua police station, you will see the records there.
Were the herders killed up to 40?
You said 40? They were over 100 killed. The number of cows killed are countless.
Is that why your people started killing Yewa people in retaliation?
No, we don’t really know how it happened this year. You know, some of the herdsmen no longer listen to us. They take laws into their hands. We don’t know these Fulanis killing people in Asa and others. They are not our members.
I went somewhere that day. I was coming back and when I got to Ibadan, I received a call that my houses were being burnt by that man called Sunday Igboho and the people of Igua. I don’t know why they did that. I offended nobody in Igua.
You mean the recent killings and attacks were a revenge?
When the Yorubas continue killing the Fulanis, they too started to fight back, and I was not at home. I got to know that my houses were burnt. That was how my house was set ablaze six years ago. They (the Yorubas) took away all valuables and killed about 10 cows.
I can’t really quantify it. If I should talk of everything destroyed in my house, it will be up to N10 million, including my house, things that were mine and the ones that were kept in my custody. I lost cows and many other valuable items.
Are you back to Igua now?
I have left Igua, since they said my house has been burnt. What will I go and do there again? Will I go there and stay outside? If they had met me that day, they would have killed me because the people of Igua themselves want me dead.
But the Yorubas in that axis said your cows destroyed their farms and you took soldiers to the area to beat anybody who would not allow cows to graze on his farm.
The report was that Fulani herdsmen insisted Yewa people must allow cows to enter their farms and those who opposed that were beaten blue-black by the soldiers.
(Laughs) Where did they say that? Won’t they eat? Won’t they send their kids to school? That report is not true. We didn’t ask soldiers to force people to accept grazing on their farms. The killing of Fulani herdsmen is the root cause of these crises in Yewa North.
How long have you stayed in Igua?
We have been there for more than 40 years ago, and that is why we want peace. We don’t want all these crises again.
Where are you right now?
Is it true someone was killed during Sunday Igboho’s visit to your house?
Yes, one person was killed. They would have killed me too if I were at home.
What steps are being taken to stop this unrest?
We’re not happy with the killings. These crises caught us unawares. Everything started with the Yorubas. During a meeting at Ilaro one day, the Paramount Ruler was there. That day, I said there is only one way to stop the clashes.
No, nobody has contacted me, but my son is in the committee.
Has your son been giving you reports of what the committee is doing?
He talks about it briefly.
Is it true those killer herdsmen are not from Nigeria?
They are Fulanis from Nigeria, but people from Benin Republic, Togo, Imeko Afon, Agbon, Imoto are among those rustling cows in that area. Those killer herdsmen are Fulanis from Nigerians. But other people are killing Fulani herdsmen in order to steal their cows.
Those who are kidnapping people, where are they from?
Do you support banning of open grazing?
We will be happy if government bans open grazing and gives us a place to rear our cows. Taking cows from one place to another causes problems. If government allocates a place for us, nobody will farm there and no cow will destroy any farmland. There will be no more crisis