Yahaya, son of a Fulani man who was killed in Osun State on Sunday with his two wives and three grandchildren, has revealed that the gunmen demanded money before carrying out the dastardly act.
The incident occurred at a Fulani settlement near Wasinmi, along Ife-Ibadan Expressway.
Yahaya, who spoke to journalists at the scene of the attack, stated that the attackers called out his father, identified simply as Samu, from a mosque where he was praying, asked him to kneel beside his two wives and the grandchildren and asked for money before killing the victims.
He said he fled when the settlement came under attack and that two of the grandchildren killed in the attack were his children.
Yahaya explained that the gunmen invaded the settlement on two motorcycles around 10:00pm.
He noted that are many households in the settlement located about five kilometres off the Ife-Ibadan Expressway, but wondered why the family was the target of the assailants.
“The attackers came on two motorcycles around 10pm and started searching huts in the settlement. They didn’t enter some of the huts. They brought out the two wives of the deceased and three of his grandchildren,” he said.
“They asked for Alhaji and they led those already brought out to where my father was. He was inside the mosque and they called him out. They asked him, his two wives, three grandchildren and one other resident to kneel down.
“They asked my father for money and he told them he didn’t have money. My father also told them that he didn’t keep money at home and that whenever he needed money, he would sell his cow.
“They told him and the others to stand up and go and as he stood up, he was shot. The victims were shot at close range. I was in hiding while all that was happening. Two of my father’s grandchildren killed are my children.”
Remi Abass, the immediate past chairman of Irewole Local Government Area of the state where the incident happened, said he got a distress call about the attack in the early hours of Sunday.
“By the time we got there, six people who were shot had died. The seventh person was not dead and we evacuated him to a hospital for treatment. He is being treated now.
“Many of the residents of the settlement fled into the bush when the gunmen arrived. We are still looking for some of them. It is the first time such an incident would occur here.
“We will surely apprehend the perpetrators. Our men are already in the bush. The state Deputy Governor, Benedict Alabi, has visited the scene; the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Abiodun Ige, was also at the scene. We are on the trail of the perpetrators and we will surely get them,” he stated.
The identity of the assailants have not been ascertained, but police personnel, members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and Hunters Group of Nigeria have been deployed in the bush to search for the perpetrators.
Yemisi Opalola, spokesperson of the police command, who confirmed the incident in a statement, said all the deceased were members of the same family.
“The attack on a family at a settlement on the outskirts of Wasinmi village, Ikire, Osun State, is not connected to any clash between farmers and herders as being speculated in some sections of the media.
“Some yet-to-be identified gunmen had attacked and shot dead six members of a family and left one other person injured at the settlement located on the outskirts of Wasinmi village.
“The Commissioner of Police, Osun State Command, Olawale Olokode, who visited the scene of the incident for an on-the-spot security assessment, ordered discrete investigation into the incident and we are already carrying out intensive manhunt for the perpetrators to bring them to justice.
“Police operatives from the Ikire Division and other law enforcement agencies were promptly drafted to the scene to prevent further attacks on residents of the area and arrest the perpetrators, but the attackers escaped on sighting the security team.
“The CP appeals to the people of the state, particularly residents of Ikire and its environs, not to panic but collaborate with the police by giving timely information that will assist in arresting the culprits.
“He reassures them of the commitment of the police to their safety as adequate security measures have been emplaced to forestall future occurrences of such an incident,” the statement said.
Newsbreak.ng is a publication of Platinum Crest Communications Limited. We are a broad-spectrum source of credible, useful and timely news, features and opinions, especially as they affect Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.