Igangan: My siblings were asleep when assailants attacked them with axes
Some of the victims who escaped fresh attack on Igangan, Oyo State, by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have narrated horrendous tales of death and destruction of properties worth millions of naira.
Speaking with PUNCH, forty-seven–year-old Jamiu Raji, who lost two family members to the attack said that members of the family were still in shock over the killings. He, however, said the family had accepted their fate while continuing to mourn the victims who he identified as Rabiat Raji and Ibrahim Adeagbo.
He said, “My sister (Rabiat) was at home when the gunmen struck. One of her nieces who slept in her place was woken up by repeated gunshots. She woke up and ran out to her parents’ house opposite her own house. She ran after the girl and after ensuring that she had entered their house, my sister returned. She was shot dead while returning to her house.
“Ibrahim Adeagbo was my cousin. He was at home when the gunmen came. They also shot him dead at home. He was 52 years old. The two of them were buried on Sunday after the police had written their reports about the incident.”
The owner of a truck loaded with yam flour, Mr Isiau Kosemani, said he cheated death by a whisker on the day of the attack.
Kosemani said, “I loaded 70 bags of elubo (yam flour) to transport them to Ibadan where we usually sell them. I usually wait till around 10pm or 11pm before leaving Igangan where we normally load because of heat and to avoid the ‘problems’ of police checkpoints. I took off and I was in the truck with my assistant driver. But before we could drive for about five minutes, I saw fire at the front and some persons were shooting towards our direction.
“My initial thought was that they were vigilantes but at a closer look, I discovered that they were attackers. We ran out of the vehicle and I hid somewhere. I was watching and some hunters saw me and told me not to challenge them because they would kill me. The hunters also could not challenge them at the time because the guns which the gunmen held were superior to the locally made guns by the hunters.
“One of the gunmen entered into the truck and he poured petrol on the seat and goods in the truck and set fire to it. That was how I lost everything but I thank God because I am alive. The truck should be around N11m and the elubo should be around N4,550,00 because a bag is sold for N65,000.”
Another victim whose shop was burnt by the attackers, Sekinat Ayandele, said her industrial sewing machines, generator, leather materials and many other goods were destroyed by the gunmen.
She said, “That is the only thing I do and my shop is gone now. Everything there is gone. I don’t know where to start from and that is why I am calling on the government to come to my aid and others who suffered a similar fate.”
A resident, Kehinde Osintayo, also narrated how the gunmen used axes to inflict injuries on his two siblings; Adefemi Adeniyi and Kehinde Adewole, who miraculously survived.
It was gathered that they were rushed to a hospital for treatment on Sunday morning by youths who combed nearby bushes to pick up corpses and the injured. The two victims, who are still in the hospital, have bandages on the injured parts of their bodies.
Osintayo, who was with them at the hospital, told PUNCH that the assailants stormed their house and attacked them while they were asleep. He said, “The two of them were inside their house close to a filling station where some were killed. They attacked them with axes and other sharp objects. They were asleep at the time. Adefemi’s wrist was cut off with an axe and he was inflicted with injuries on his body. Kehinde was also attacked and he also has injuries on his body. They can hardly hear now because one has to talk close to their ears before they can hear what anyone says.
“Government officials have come to the hospital but we don’t know when they will pay the bill. We just want our brothers to survive because the pain they went through was much. When the people of the town saw Adefemi when they were combing the bush on Sunday morning, he was groaning in pain and that was when he was taken to a hospital. We need the government’s assistance to pay the bill and to secure our area.”
He said that hunters prevented the gunmen from invading his part of the town, stating that if not for that, the town would have been wiped out by the hoodlums.