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Persistent Kidnappings In Ibarapaland: We’re Sitting On Keg Of Gunpowder | Tayo Akinyemi


On April 28, 2019, Petroleum marketers in Ibarapa axis of Oyo State under the aegis of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) sent a save our soul message to the Department of State Service (DSS) over the persistent kidnapping of their members particularly in Igboora. Two months after, (25 June, 2019), a popular food Vendor in Igboora named Madam Folake Hosana was kidnapped by same bandits and later released after payment of #2m ransom the third day. A week after, a Teacher was also kidnapped at Iberekodo,Igboora on his way from his farm.

Three months later, 19th September, 2019, the ASUP Chairman of Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, Comrade Jide Opadijo, his Secretary and 3 other members were equally kidnapped and later released after payment of #5M ransom. Similarly, on 3rd November, 2019 around 4:00am, an Indegene of Igboora and then head of Vigilante group named Tajudeen Ayanwale was killed in a mission to rescue a Fulani businessman named Bakare Adamu; one kidnapper was equally killed. In all these kidnappings, the Victims were held captive around the Kara Market/ Sekere Village / Abeokuta Express road axis.

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Your Excellency sir, on 31st January, 2020, a similar save our soul letter titled: “ INSECURITY SURGE IN IBARAPA REGION- CALL FOR URGENT CREATIVE SOLUTION” was sent to your office by a conference of Ibarapa Youths: “IBARAPA DEVELOPMENT FORUM (Better Ibarapa Initiative)”, till now I guess a comprehensive response and action is underway.

As result of various embarrassments these persistent kidnappings are causing to Ibarapa land, the entire Igboora Community launched a Local Security outfit with each household contributing financially for its sustenance. Night parties canceled and curfew imposed from 10pm till 5am. With this local intelligence, peace has been temporary restored until the night of Monday, 14th April, 2020 when the news flew into the air that the Wife of an Ibarapa Monarch, Babaaso of Igbole, Olori Funbi Ojo and Daughter were kidnapped by kidnappers again on their way home around 8pm at gun point. All efforts of various securities proved abortive before they were later released in the night of Wednesday, 16th April, 2020 after payment of #2.5M ransom. At the point of writing this piece, another farmer named Mr. Odugbemi has been kidnapped at Tapa since Saturday, 8th May, it was reported his younger brother narrowly escaped.

Apart from the general perception of average Nigerians about the poor Security apparatus in Nigeria, three sensitive questions demands cautious and technical answers:
i) Who are these kidnappers?
ii) How was the security situation of Ibarapa land before the advent of the Kara Market and after?
iii) Why has all the captivities within the Kara Market /Sekere-Alamutu/Abeokuta express area?

General opinions of the populace of Ibarapa is that the Kara Market at present is the “DEN” of these Kidnappers and several protests on closure or tight security measures of the market has always been accepted by most Ibarapa Traditional Rulers but the clause of the fact that “Government owns the Market” has always been the obstacle. It was highly unfortunate, the table has now turned against our Traditional rulers as the Olori of the Kara land owner and Daughter now fell victim. With this situation, it means nobody is secured in this area.

Similarly, the Oyo State Government owns the Kara Market and the government refused to close down the market or put necessary security measure in place, because of the revenue being generated. This is surely at the detriment of the lives and properties of Inhabitants of Ibarapa they are governing on; but what if the table turns round and the same kidnapping begin against Political office holders in the area? Unconfirmed reports flying around was that our Local Government Caretaker Chairmen in Ibarapa reportedly relieved the Local Security Men to be replaced with their Party loyalists with little or no security experience; if this is true, then I sense fire on the Mountain.

At present, the Staff and Students of Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora are in panic situation, this insecurity has to a larger extent affected their Students enrolment. Same thing applies to the Police Secondary School, Igboora.

Agricultural produce in Ibarapa is now on lower rate as farmers no longer feel secured going to farm. Industrialists are not encouraged about the frequent news of insecurity in Ibarapa; how long would this take?

Reports from Victims of these kidnappings revealed how these kidnappers usually confidently boasts of their level of influence with the people at the corridor of power, their links within some indigenes who gives them accurate information.

They were reported to have been using latest communication device and sophisticated weapons, they are well trained and interestingly, are residence within Ibarapa and Kara Market suspected to be their Den.

It is a pity and annoying for aliens living peacefully with a flourishing businesses on Ibarapa land ; despite selling products exorbitantly, It is unfortunate to perceive a motive of driving Ibarapas out of their homestead. God forbid the scenario of Afonja/Ilorin saga.

On a closing note:
Does any kind of royalty worth the life of any Ibarapa Son, Daughter or Inhabitants?
Do our Political office holders who are sensed to be afraid of taking necessary security measure because of their political affiliation think the table can not turn against them as just done against Royalty?

Ibarapas must wake up from slumber; we are sitting on the keg of gun powder!

Prince Tayo Akinyemi
Ibarapa Central Local Government,
Igboora, Oyo State.
10th May, 2020.

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