Imota Community Engages Fulani Leaders Over Kidnapping, Insecurity

Kunle Adelabu

-Hunting suspended for now – Imota Chairman.

Oba Ajibade Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota, Hon. Wasiu Agoro, Chairman, Imota LCDA and the Director of the State Security Service in Ikorodu Division listening to an address by one of the Fulani leaders during the stakeholders meeting held at the Ranodu palace on Monday.

As part of the Imota community’s efforts to stem insecurity, especially kidnapping happening around the area, the traditional ruler and Council Chairman of the ancient community which shared boundaries with the Epe Division of Lagos State and many other communities in Ogun State, on Monday, March 22, 2021, met with leaders of the Fulani communities.

The stakeholders meeting, which was held at the Ranodu palace, was called by His Royal Majesty, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota, and Hon. Wasiu Agoro, the Chairman, Imota Local Council Development Area.

The meeting had the presence of leaders of the Fulani communities in Imota and Agbowa, while the Director of the Department of the State Security Services and the representative of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Imota Police Division, were also in attendance.

Setting the tone for the meeting, Oba Agoro stated that the Pipeline area in the community has been used as robbery points over the years and that now, it is experiencing cases of kidnapping and other unfortunate activities.

He charged the Fulanis that they must maintain good neighbourliness and peace with their hosts and ensure that criminal activities are not perpetrated in his domain.

“Imota has been a very good host to various people from other tribes, especially Hausas and Fulanis who have been dwelling among us for a very long time because we do grow kola which they love.

“My mother in particular was dealing in the sales of kolanuts during her life time and had many Hausas/Fulanis that always patronize her then. We were living in peace.

“Whenever there were troubles in other communities that they were staying, your people always run to Imota for safety and we always accommodate them but that gesture is being threatened today because of insecurity that is being perpetrated by your people.

“We don’t want a situation where residents will now tag all of you kidnappers and decide to hold you for all these atrocities.

 “You must be on the lookout for those among you that are engaging in criminal activities that might put you against the community and report such to me or the police. We want you to always report any suspicious movement or activitiy in the forest to us for quick action”, Oba Ranodu said.

Hon. Wasiu Agoro, Chairman, Imota LCDA (left) emphasizing a point to Mr Idris Bello for proper interpretation to his kinsmen during the meeting at the Ranodu palace.

“We call you here because we don’t want any trouble in and around our community. From Imota to Agbowa, Adamo, Ode, Odogunyan and other areas, you must pass our message to your people that we don’t want any criminal activity but peace in Imota and Ikorodu generally.

“We will also welcome it if you can also report  any suspicion activity from Yorubas too or when your peace is being threatened in any way. I am a King for Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Igbo and others”, the royal father said.

Oba Agoro also announced that there will be an enlarge meeting by the Council of Obas in Ikorodu Division with the Hausa and Fulani communities in the division.

The Council Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Agoro, announced the suspension of hunting and rearing in and around the Imota area.

“Tell your people that there is no more hunting for now until we have been able to deal with the situation. Nobody should carry a gun anywhere in Imota in the name of hunting”, he said.

“I have informed the two Chairmen in Ikorodu Local Government  and Ikorodu North LCDA about the suspension of hunting and that they should assist in passing the message to those coming from their areas to hunt in Imota.

“We don’t want anybody to be attacked in our domain because many atrocities and criminal activities that are happening in neighbouring communities that are not under Imota are being attributed to Imota.

“We want to know and be able to identify those living and operating in our community. We want to deal with all that”.

The Director of the State Security Service (SSS) in Ikorodu Division, speaking at the meeting, said that the essence of the parley is to ensure that the division and its environs are safe for people to go about their businesses.

“We all must stand up to ensure that Ikorodu Division is safe and this is why you (the Hausas/Fulanis) must appeal to your people engaging in any act detrimental to your host community to desist from such. We want them to stop kidnaping in this area.

Alhaji Bako Mohammed whyo led the Agbowa contingent addressing the Ranodu of Imota.

“If you know anyone engaging in any criminality, ensure that they are taken to the police station or to the palace.

“Many of you were born here and you also grew up here. If you had been kidnapped, how do you think your family would feel if they ask them to bring millions of money to secure your bail?”, he asked.

“We want a safe, free and secure Ikorodu Division that is conducive for farmers to engage  in their farming work without any fears and others too to carry out their businesses without any fear”.

He reminded the Hausas/Fulanis that the President has given directive for shoot – at – sight at anyone found with AK47.

“If anyone of you owns or you know anyone that have AK47, kindly take it to the station. Only those in the force that can use such guns. The President has given a shoot – at – sight order to security men at anyone carrying an AK47″.

The representative of the DPO charged Fulani leaders to be conscious of any new member joining them and also urged them to give necessary information to the police concerning their members who are engaging in any criminality.

A representative of the Fulani community who served as the interpreter at the parley, said that those committing criminal activities are not Hausas or Fulanis residing in Imota or Agbowa but those coming from Ogun State.

He said that some of these Fulanis had also stole their cows and were apprehended and handed over to the law enforcement  agents.

He said that these same Fulanis are also the ones engaging in criminal activities and not those that are living peacefully in their host communities and doing their businesses.

A Fulani leader , Alhaji Bako Mohammed who led a team of Fulanis from Agbowa to the Ranodu palace, said that they had rejected some of their kinsmen that are migrating into Agbowa and Imota that they cannot vouch for.

During the meeting with Fulani leaders in Imota.

He said that they have warned them not to come into their area to hunt again.

He assured the traditional ruler and the council chairman that they will be on the lookout for any suspicion movement and report such.

The eldest among the Fulani leaders that attended the meeting, Alhaji Ibrahim Andu, commended Oba Agoro for showing good leadership and for accommodating them.

He said that they are peace – loving people who are residing and going about their businesses in Imota and Agbowa peacefully.

There has been an increase in cases of kidnapping of individuals, especially farmers in communities that share boundary with the Imota Local Council Development Area.

According  to the report gathered, most of these affected communities are in Ogun State.

Prominent among the victims of these kidnappers is Alhaji Lookman Onabanjo (Bugon) who was released two weeks ago after payment of ransom to his abductors by his family.

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