Ibarapa: Angry Youth Protest against Kidnapping, Banditry
There was pandemonium in Ayete, the headquarters of Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State on Thursday as youths from various communities in the town staged a protest against kidnapping, banditry and other forms of insecurity rocking Ibarapaland.
The youth alleged that the insecurity stemmed from activities of some criminal herdsmen from the Fulani ethnic tribe, which, according to them, led to the destruction of farmland, sacking of farmers from their farms, killings, kidnapping for ransom and other vices in the Ibarapa community.
The youth protested to the palace of the traditional ruler of the town, the Asawo of Ayete, Oba Emmanuel Borisabunmi, and the divisional police headquarters in the town, where they reportedly registered their grievances on the security situation in Ayete and Ibarapaland generally.
But the peaceful protest turned violent as soon as they left the police station. It was gathered that the aggrieved youths saw a Ford Explorer Sports Utility Vehicle, moving towards the outskirt of Ayete. They took a special interest in the vehicle when the driver put it in reverse mode with high speed.
According to sources, One of the persons, who actively participated in the protest, but preferred anonymity for security reasons, said they stopped the vehicle and found out it contained three Fulani men and a Yoruba man.
He revealed that they insisted on carrying out a thorough search on the vehicle and found a pistol and AR-15 gun with several bullets in the car.
Unverified claims stated that a policeman was injured when the protest turned violent. The policeman, as gathered, tried to use his phone to do a video recording of the action. The protesters reportedly got angry and attacked him.
A source, who simply identified himself as Adebayo explained that the vehicle was burnt after the three Fulani men escaped and left only the Yoruba man, who drove the Ford Explorer behind. The driver was purportedly beaten blue and black before he ran for cover at the divisional police headquarters in Ayete.
The Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in Ayete was said to have visited the scene where the vehicle was razed, and that he was not happy about the jungle justice. He was quoted to have said the youth had destroyed what could have served as evidence.
The Police Public Relations Officer for the state, Mr. Adewale Osifeso, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) could not be reached on his mobile phone at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, was in Ayete on Thursday, where she held a security meeting with strategic stakeholders on how to ensure adequate security of lives and property in Ayete and Ibarapaland as a whole.