The evicted Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Abdulkadir Saliu, has said whenever he hears the name of Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, he gets scared and trembles.
Igboho had issued an eviction order to the Fulanis in Ibarapaland and some hours after his visit to area to ensure compliance, the house and cars of the Seriki Fulani, Saliu, were burnt.
For Saliu, Igboho seems to be the most terrible person in the world.
In an interview with BBC Yoruba, the Seriki Fulani claimed that Igboho and his team killed some Fulani men during their visit to Igangan, including Seriki’s only brother.
Saliu said he originated from Ilorin, Kwara State and had relocated with his father to Igangan in the Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State.
He said he had lived in Igangan since then and prospered in the land.
He said, “I got to Igangan in 1972. At the mention of Igboho’s name, I get scared and shiver.
“I am an indigene of Ilorin, my father and mother originated from Ilorin. I had come with my father to Ibarapa town. He was buried in Ibarapa.
“At the mention of Igboho’s name, I get scared and shiver, because what I experienced on the day he came with his group to my place at Igangan, since my
childhood, I’d never seen such, so when I heard he was going to Ogun State, I couldn’t sleep.
“There’s no one that will hear the name of the most terrible person in the world and won’t be scared. You know what he did to me, to my property. My mother had only two children, me and my younger brother. Igboho killed my younger brother. Immediately Igboho arrived, we saw four corpses on the floor. Up till now, there are two corpses on the ground in Igangan that we can’t go to retrieve them.
“Someone over there saw their corpses and called to inform us, but we can’t go to Igangan. The person who called us, we told him to help us get people to go and carry the corpses but he was scared so he fled. Apart from my brother, the police evacuated four other corpses. How will I not get scared when I hear this name? It was God that saved me that day, I could have died.”
Responding to allegations of his involvement in fraudulent businesses, the Seriki Fulani said, “From my childhood, God has blessed me. I am into cattle rearing business. I have no other business. My educated kids work with banks for the smooth running of their business. I am into cattle business, and I have been in this business for a long time.”
He also put the estimated cost of his property burnt in Igangan at N500 million or more.
He said, “I had N1.1 million under my bed, my vehicles: Toyota Venza, Lexus Jeep (SUV), Toyota Corolla, apart from my kid’s vehicles. Their vehicles: Toyota Camry ‘Muscle’, Toyota Corolla (3), Nissan pickup and others and other property in the house. If I consider the food I had in the house. Four flats were burnt down apart from the face-to-face house I built when I just got there. There were motorcyles, cows and all. The cows we have yet to recover are over 207 in number.
“Some people called me from Igangan that some sets of persons had loaded two vehicles with my cows. I can’t go there. The people who called us said they told those who were leaving with our cows that what they did was wrong but they fought them. The worth of that cattle alone is a lot. What about my children that use motorcycles? If I should calculate everything, it might be more than the N500 million I said I lost.”
Responding to the allegations that he shielded Fulani people who kidnapped, killed and committed other atrocities in the community, he said, “There’s nothing like that, there’s no way someone will fight another without trying to pin it on a particular issue. Fulanis get kidnapped more than Yorubas in Igangan. There were so many Fulani kidnappers I reported that are in prison now. Igangan indigenes that were involved in kidnapping, like five of them are with the police now, some are in Agodi prison. I was the one who reported the matter to the police.
“How will I be their godfather and still report them to the police? Why did I choose not to be a godfather to these people I reported and collect money from them? At Tapa, one of the kidnappers is in a prison yard in Ibadan till now, I reported him. There’s another I reported to the police at Lalate. How will I then be a godfather to them? I informed the police of the activities of kidnappers, both Yoruba and Fulani.”
When asked if he would be willing to go back to Igangan, Saliu said if he was given assurance of safety, he would be willing to go back.
He said, “If the villagers want me back, I will go. I went there with cows; all my life, I deal in cattle. All the while I was there, God always blessed me. My cattle increased every year, it never reduced. How will I not want to go back to such a place if there is assurance that no evil will befall me when I go back. If not, I can’t go back. God has spared me and given me a place to manage. If there’s no assurance of safety, why will I go there?”
SaharaReporters, New York