Fulani leaders have begged for the forgiveness of an Oyo community who accuse herdsmen of raping women, kidnapping residents and killing farmers.
The Seriki Fulani of Igbo Ora, Alhaji Idris Abubakar, and the Seriki Fulani of Eruwa, Alhaji Sule Mohammed, said they would now ensure peaceful coexistence with other ethnic groups in Ibarapa area of the state.
There was violence at Igangan, a community in Ibarapa North local government area on Friday after Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho and his followers stormed a Fulani settlement in the ancient town to eject Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and herdsmen accused of perpetrating crimes.
Abdukadir said that contrary to reports, no Fulani was killed in the attack.
The government and the police then organised a peace meeting between the warring parties on Sunday.
At the meeting, Igangan residents recounted their ordeals in the hands of Fulani herdsmen.
The community also presented pictures and other evidence of ransoms paid to the herdsmen. They accused the Seriki Fulani of complicity in the negotiation of ransoms.
The traditional ruler of Igangan, the Asigangan of Igangan, Oba Abdulazeez Adeoye, whose cousin was kidnapped, tendered the evidence of the ransom he paid to secure his release.
Residents also stormed the venue of the meeting with photographs of those who were killed and those who suffered attacks in the hands of criminal herdsmen.
Some youths were also bearing placards, with inscriptions, which condemned the atrocities perpetrated by herdsmen in the community.
The Secretary of Igangan Development Advocates, Lawal Akeem, said the people were tired of the antics of the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, whom he accused of complicity in different kidnap cases.
He also said that the community had been forced to pay about N50 million in ransoms for different kidnapping cases while also accusing Fulani herders of regularly vandalising farms and raping women of the community.
A youth in the town, Taiwo Adeagbo, said that no fewer than 15 women had been raped in recent weeks.
A member of the state House of Assembly, Peter Ojedokun, also told the delegation that the peace in Ibarapaland had been stirred by the Fulani herders with the incessant attacks on community members, kidnappings and other crimes.
The Caretaker Chairman of Ibarapa North-West Local Council Development Area, Okediji Olusegun, corroborated the allegations levelled against the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, saying that the Seriki had been fingered in the series of security challenges in the area many times.
Police commissioner Ngozi Onadeko expressed the police’s readiness to carry out a thorough investigation to ensure justice for victims of kidnappings, rape and other crimes committed in the areas.
The Fulani leaders, who attended the meeting, begged for forgiveness, saying the Fulani were ready for peaceful coexistence with their hosts.