Youths from Igangan, Ibarapa zone of Oyo State, staged a protest to State Secretariat, Ibadan, on Tuesday, to demand justice for the recently slain Dr Fatai Aborode among others similar killings.
Aborode, a former house of representatives candidate on the platform of Accord Party, was robbed and shot dead last Friday along Apodun road, Igangan by four unknown gunmen.
Bearing placards with different inscriptions, the protesters, however, decried that Aborode’s killing was just one out of many other similar incidences of killings and kidnappings in Ibarapa land. Some of the protesters who spoke described kidnapping as a recurring decimal with many residents of Ibarapa land constantly living in anguish and fear.
To drive home their message, the protesters held banners, placards with inscriptions to include, “Kidnapping and killings must stop”, End farmers bloodshed in Igangan”, “End Fulani banditry in Ibarapa land”, “Fulani must stop raping our women”, We demand justice for all our slain people”, “Stop the Fulani massacre of Ibarapa people”, “Crush banditry now” and “Stop the Fulani killing us.”
Speaking, Convener, Igangan Development Advocate (IDA), Mr Oladokun Oladiran, asked the state government to openly condemn such killings and other dastardly acts in Ibarapa land.
He decried that the state anti-grazing law had only remained on paper with no implementation.
Oladiran also urged the state government to mandate Caretaker Chairmen to clear bushes in Ibarapa land to aid vision.
Oladiran said: “We are not anti-government; we are also in government and we want the government to work. During election times they can come to our own Ibarapa and seek for votes and now that we are being slaughtered, where is their presence?
“Where is the government presence and why have they been silent since these issues have started. Why hasn’t the government made any open denouncement of these and we are left in silence?”
Also speaking, the President, IDA, Mr Wale Oladiran, lamented that the killings, brutalisation of farmers in the region had reached an intolerable level.
He particularly urged the state government to ensure adequate deployment of Amotekun corps to Ibarapa land to stop the killings.
“We are here to press home our demand on the killings. They have been killing our farmers, raping our women and we have been writing and shouting about it but nothing has happened.
“We have been killed severally in our large numbers. We demand immediate action on stopping the carnage and brutality going-on on our lands. They have rendered people homeless.
“The last one you are seeing is the death of Dr Fatai Aborode, a PhD holder from the University of Aberdeen, UK. He abandoned his family and came home to our homeland to venture into mechanized farming.
“He ventured into mechanised farming of over 500 hectares of land and on Friday (last week) while coming back from the farm, he was waylaid, ambushed and gruesomely murdered like a chicken.
“He was butchered, even if he lived, he couldn’t have survived because they ensured they butchered him.
“Right now, what we are demand is the immediate deployment of Amotekun corps into our region, the Ibarapa region and Igangan in particular as well as a establishment of a media liaison office in Iganga, so as to cover all the injustices happening there.
“We want open grazing to stop. They are killing our people and we want government to be informed. We lack media presence and which is why the illicit act is being committed. We need the Governor to dispatch the Amotekun Corps to our farms and stop the killings,” he said.
Addressing the protesting youths, Oyo deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan assured that the state government was working to strengthen security across the state.
He, however, noted that the state will not divulge its particular security strategies while assuring that those behind Aborode’s killing will be caught.
Olaniyan said: “I want to inform you that, the death of Aborode is more painful to me than to anyone else. We have so many things in common and we have some secrets we share.
“Politically, we have relationship and even outside of politics. We are like siblings. He would come all the way from Igangan and met me at Igboho. There were times he came alone, there were times he came with the family and many other things. I’m the one who knows how his death touches me more than you all.
“But, let me assure you that government is doing a lot on its own part to forestall such happenings in Ibarapa and all over Oyo State.
“But, we don’t have to have to go to the pages of the newspaper on the efforts we are making. When we do that, the bad ones will also make counter efforts. So, don’t think the government is not making any efforts. The government is making many so many efforts.
“Specifically, we are mobilising the Amotekun with vehicles. I want to assure you that the Governor is not happy about it and by God’s grace, those who committed the act will be caught, I can assure you.”