Residents of Ibarapa in Oke Ogun Area, Oyo State now live in fear following attacks on their community by armed herdsmen.
According to TheNation's report, it is one day one trouble for the community.
A day hardly passes without a story of someone being killed or attacked. Such is the situation in the area that the people now sleep with one eye closed. Sadly, the female population is most vulnerable. It is as if there is no end in sight to the plight of the residents of the villages in that part of Oyo State.
Some weeks back, the murder of Dr. Fatai Aborode, the CEO of of Kunfayakun Green Treasure Limited and former House of Representatives candidate under the banner of the Accord Party in the 2015 general election, again brought to fore the worsening security situation in the area and the South West in general.
Aborode was said to have been murdered near his farm around Apodun Village in Igangan, Ibarapa North West Local Council Development Area by suspected herdsmen while leaving his farm on a motorbike with his farm manager at about 4 pm.
Describing Aborode’s death as painful, Akeem Adeoye, an indigene of the town, recalled that the victim only returned to Nigeria from Germany about two years ago to start a farm.
“This year alone, he cultivated 300 acres of soya beans, 200 acres of maize and 100 acres of cashew. It is something that had never happened in the history of our local government,” Adeoye told The Nation.
He reckoned that the feat alone would have provided employment for a lot of the youths in the community.
Speaking in the same vein, Pa Ganiyu, a supervisor at the farm, who was said to have been with the late Aborode some 30 minutes before he was murdered, described the deceased man as a good Muslim.
Aware of the security situation in his domain, one would have expected Aborode to go about with security details, but Pa Adeoye said he (Aborode) had no reason to keep a retinue of security aides because “he was a man of peace and extremely generous.”
According to Adeoye, the workers on the farm have since returned to continue the harvest on the instruction of Aborode’s wife.
He said: “The woman begged us to return so that the soya beans would not spoil. On the day of the incident, we had harvested one ton.
“His death really hit me. If not for the wife, I would not want to go back to the farm. The man invested billions of naira in the farm.”
Also speaking with The Nation, the manager of the farm, Olanrewaju Bolanle Saakin, who was with the CEO of Kunfayakun Green Treasure Limited before he was murdered, said they were attacked by four men. He, however, would not be categorical as to the tribe of their assailants, saying: “Only God knows what no man knows. All I can tell you is that they spoke Fulani.”
Olanrewaju said in a move that looked like a planned attack, the first thing the attackers did was to separate him from his boss and make them run in opposite directions. He said that some of the attackers held him in one part of the bush, the others took the late Aborode to another direction where he was murdered.
Another source said the late Aborode actually engaged his attackers in a fierce battle before he was eventually subdued. Olanrewaju said the attack was not anticipated because the occasional attacks previously recorded in the area were limited to cattle rustling and were not targeted at farmers.
To prove that there had been a cordial relationship between the farmers and the herdsmen, he said when the farmers had poor maize harvest this season because of lack of rain, the herdsmen were invited to graze their cattle on the farm in order to clear the land.
A source told the reporter that Olanrewaju was arrested and whisked to Ibadan, Oyo State for questioning shortly after he spoke with The Nation.
Attacks on women
Some months before Aborode was shot dead, a female farmer and certified pharmacist, Mrs Muyibat Taiwo, who dwells in Akoya, one of the villages in Ibarapa, was also attacked by some people believed to be herdsmen but she escaped by a whisker.
Before then, there were said to have been several unreported attacks on women. Her case, however, attracted attention because of the serious efforts made to draw attention to several attacks in that part of Oyo State.