Farmers in Lagun, Iyana Offa, Offa, Atagba, Lapata and their surrounding communities in Lagelu Local Council Area of Ibadan, Oyo State, have alleged that a group of Fulani armed men attacked their communities at night, injured a guard and carted away valuables on Tuesday.
More than five farms and surrounding agrarian communities were allegedly visited in the attack, with eyewitnesses saying they also suspected that the attackers were Fulani herdsmen because of their mode of dressing.
Villagers, who spoke with our correspondent, said more than N500,000 was stolen by the attackers. They alleged that apart from money, clothes, shoes and foodstuffs that were taken, cooked food items were taken away by the attackers who had a field day roaming the places for more than seven hours. Various sources also put the number of the attackers at between 30 and 40.
Owner of one of the farms, Ayodele Adigun, called on the Federal Government to intervene in the frequent Fulani herdsmen attack on the communities lying on the border between Oyo and Osun states. He said unless urgent step was taken, the situation could degenerate into an ethnic clash.
A supervisor at the farm, Olaonipekun Ogunkolade, explained that the attackers stormed the farm around 8pm in a commando style, wielding guns and other dangerous weapons.
The supervisor said the attacker gathered the workers into groups and held them hostage while the operation lasted. He said they were thoroughly beaten and threatened with their weapons.
The injured guard was later found in the pool of his own blood after a headcount showed that he was missing. Another worker, simply identified as Haruna Usman, said he escaped death after he was shot by one of the attackers as he was returning to the farm.
Usman, who was coming from Jos in Plateau State, said, “The robber who chased me was speaking Fulani language to me. Later, he spoke Hausa, telling me to stop. He threatened me that he would shoot me if I didn’t stop.”
When The PUNCH visited the injured guard, Jimi Aido, at the Iwo Medical Centre, Iwo, Osun State, the senior medical officer on duty, Mrs. Adeola Adelabu, said that the health condition of the victim was stable.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo State Command, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said he had yet to be briefed about the attack and that he would get back to our correspondent. Policemen on patrol in the Lagun community said they could not comment on the attack.