At least 20 people have been allegedly killed in Igangan, one of the towns in Ibarapa North local government area of Oyo State, southwest Nigeria, as unknown gunmen Saturday night opened fire on the community.
It was learnt that the palace of the the royal father Asigangan as well as a popular petroleum station were not spared as they were razed by the suspected bandits numbering 50, who were said to have invaded the town around 11 pm in more than 20 motorcycles.
This is coming few days after the Chairman of Oyo State Security Network codenamed, Amotekun Corps, General Kunle Togun (rtd), alleged that foreign Fulanis have encamped the entire Southwest region and may strike if nothing is done urgently.
While confirming the attack, a former caretaker chairman of the council, Tunji Omolewu, said he had to rush down around 5 am (Sunday).
According to him, ”People had barely retired to bed when they said they sighted motorcycles entering the town. Before our people could know what was going on, they had started killing people. I got the call around 11 pm. We were on our way from Ekiti where we had gone to do the Yoruba nation rally.
“I got to Ibadan around 12 am and when the calls did not stop coming, I decided to come home. I have counted more than 20 dead bodies.
“The palace of our monarch was torched. Adolak filling station too was burnt. We are assembled here” he said, almost breaking down in tears.
Also a former caretaker Chairman of neighbouring Ibarapa Central, Yemi Akinlabi, who is holidaying in the United States of America, said his phone was bombarded with calls.
”It is so sad. Only few days ago, our people got intelligence report and forwarded it to the appropriate quarters for action but here we are today. Are we going to continue to live in fear in our land?
“I have spoken to General Toogun about last night’s incident and we would want him and his team to do something. Our people must not be allowed to resort to self-help,” he added.
It could be recalled that last Wednesday, during the tour of projects to mark his two years in office, Governor Seyi Makinde had disclosed that insecurity in Ibarapaland has been the most challenging and that his government has put in place several measures, including the creation of a Base for Operation Burst in the area and deployment of more Amotekun corps, among others.
He added that these measures have yielded positive results in the last few months.
The governor has however confirmed the latest attack,stating that security operatives are already on the spot for thorough investigation.
A brief remark posted on his official Facebook timeline quoted Makinde as saying that he received the news of the attack on resident of Igangan in the early hours of the morning.
He said: “I have received the shocking news of the attacks on residents of Igangan, Ibarapaland, in the early hours of this morning.
“I am currently being briefed on the incidents. I urge residents to remain calm as security operatives are now in control of the situation.”
Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan