From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
There was tension in Ibarapa zone of Oyo State on Sunday as members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) arrested one Iskilu Wakili, an alleged Fulani warlord accused of partaking in the series of kidnapping, rape, murder and destruction of farmland across the three local government areas of Ibarapaland.
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, confirmed the arrest to journalists through his media aide, Kehinde Aderemi. He said Wakili and two others were arrested on Sunday morning in Kajola area of Aiyete in Ibarapa North Local Government.
According to them, Wakili and two other persons arrested with him have been handed over to the Igboora Divisional Police Headquarters by the OPC for further investigation and prosecution. This came some weeks after angry youth evicted Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Saliu from his base in Igangan over insecurity in Ibarapaland.
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Adams, in the statement issued through Kehinde Aderemi, his special assistant on media, said: “I am happy that the notorious kidnapper had been captured alongside three others. It is a good development and a positive signal to other criminal elements that the South-West is no longer an abode for bandits, kidnappers, and criminal herders. I commend all the members of the joint security team that has made this possible, because with the video at my disposal, it was purely a neat job.”
A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has, however, congratulated the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land over the feat, saying: “I congratulate my friend and brother, Iba Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland and the OPC for the successful capture of Wakili, one of the most barbaric and notorious foreign Fulani terrorists and cold-blooded killers, in the forests of Oyo State. This is the way forward. Kudos!”
The Police Public Relations Officer for the state, Olugbenga Fadeyi, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), also confirmed the arrest of Wakili, saying: “The Oyo State Police Command would like to inform the general public that at about 0900 hrs of date (7th March 2021), information was received that a group of persons, (later found out to be members of the Odua Peoples Congress- OPC).
The police spokesperson stated further that the OPC members had “invaded Kajola community in Ibarapa axis of the State. The invasion was reportedly aimed at arresting one Wakili, a Fulani by tribe, who is alleged to be the sponsor and mastermind of various criminal attacks against the people/farmers of Yoruba origin in the community.”
Fadeyi stated that the state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, “quickly moved into action and preliminary findings revealed that some OPC members went to Kajola community in Ibarapa North Local government Area of Oyo State. While there, the house of the Wakili in question was set ablaze, while a female (the identity of who is yet to be ascertained) was burnt in the fire and Wakili (about 75 years old and blind) with two other persons were picked up.
“The three of them are presently in the custody of the police. The Commissioner of Police has directed that Wakili (due to his frail appearance and state of health), be moved to the hospital, while others are being interrogated. Others being interrogated are the OPC members, involved in arson and murder.
“Meanwhile, the Oyo State Police Command wishes to inform the general public that any person or group of persons from any region or tribe that has been found culpable to have committed any criminal act(s) in the State would not be spared, but would be arrested and dealt with according to extant laws.
“Therefore, it is worthy of note that the good people of Oyo State and the general public should be rest assured that the officers and men in the Command would not derelict in its duty to bring to book criminal elements arrested for any infringement on the laws of the land, as adequate security measures have been emplaced against anything untoward while soliciting credible information from members of the public to enable the police and other security agencies clampdown on crime and criminality in the State. In conclusion, anybody that has any case against Iskilu Wakili should report it to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Iyagank,u Ibadan for discreet investigation.”