Armed Fulani men invade Osun at midnight, line up villagers for kidnap
…Hunters rescue locals
By Oluwole Olaiya
Residents of Koka Village in Obokun Local Government of Osun State woke up to a rude shock midnight on Sunday.
Some eight armed herdsmen had stormed the village at midnight. They forced residents from their bed, married women, men and children alike
Three people who resisted were shot.
Witnesses told Irohinoodua correspondent that the invaders were Fulani. “We saw eight of them. They came at midnight while we were all asleep. They broke doors and brought out women, men and children. They shot three people, ” Makinde Oluyeba, a resident told our correspondent.
He said they had lined up locals preparing to march them into the thick forest when one of the captives sneaked away.
He said ” One of us sneaked away and told hunters who were on guard in the local government area. The hunters called themselves and mobilosed to the scene.”
He said in the gun battle that occurred the abductors left the scene.
He said “This is disturbing. It is no longer that people are being kidnapped on the highway. The armed men are visiting communities and towns to kidnap people in their homes. We cant go to our farms, we kept quite. We did nothing, now we cant sleep in our homes.”
He said since the incidence, many people in the community have relocated to Ilesa to meet their relatives.
Sulaiman Alonge a member of Agbekoya in the community told Irohinoodua “This is the worst thing that can happen to a people, driven away from our farms and driven away from our homes”
She said the attackers divided themselves into two groups, with the first set of four men entering houses and bringing out the residents, while another set mounted surveillance on the road leading into the village.
It was gathered that a villager escaped from the gunmen and called a member of the Hunters’ Group of Nigeria to inform him of the incident.
The resident stated, “I was already asleep when I heard a noise from outside and I rushed out. Four men bearing guns asked us to come out. They spoke a language we were not familiar with, but we understood that they wanted us to come out of the house.
“I could also see about four other men with guns watching the road leading into the village to ward off any attempt to stop them.
“But a villager was able to sneak away from the gunmen and called some hunters, who immediately responded.”
Another resident, identified as Tayo Ola, said the building that the gunmen first entered when they got to the village was riddled with bullets.
Ola stated that three villagers were shot but none was taken away by the gunmen, adding that the arrival of hunters put the attackers under pressure and made them to flee into the bush.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Yemisi Opalola, confirmed the incident.
Opalola said, “Some herdsmen, on Sunday, attacked Koka village in the Obokun Local Government Area of Osun State and attempted to abduct some villagers.
“The villagers and hunters mobilised and engaged the attackers in a firefight and liberated themselves. Three villagers sustained bullet wounds. Those injured are responding to treatment at the Asubiaro State Hospital, Osogbo.
“The command has drafted operatives to join locals on a search operation to apprehend the fleeing suspects.”