From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Oyo State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of 47 armed Fulanis in Igangan area of Ibarapa North Local Government Area of the state.
The armed men were nabbed by the operatives of Operation Burst, the joint anti-crime security outfit of the state led by soldiers, at Ofiki River along Tapa-Igangan Road.
The arrest was reportedly effected some hours after the Oyo State Security Network Agency, also known as the Amotekun Corps, raided hideouts of suspected kidnappers Saturday morning. Three bandits were reportedly neutralised on Saturday, with a member of Vigilante Group of Nigeria was also injured during the operations.
The alleged 47 armed Fulanis, according to a source, were conveyed in three buses. The security agency reportedly recovered from the suspects 47 Dane guns, bows, arrows, knives, cutlasses, as well as more sophisticated firearms that were secretly concealed in the buses.
The 47 armed men were said to be on a revenge mission to the Ibarapaland following the death of the three persons suspected to be bandits terrorising the area via killings and kidnappings that have fueled insecurity in the southwestern state.
Police spokesman Olugbenga Fadeyi, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), said while confirming the arrest that the ‘arrested Fulani men have been transferred to SCID (State Criminal Investigation Department) Iyaganku, Ibadan for discreet investigation.
‘Though it was alleged that the Fulani men claimed they were trailing some kidnappers who were about to collect ransom from relations of a kidnapped victim, an investigation has been intensified on the arrest, please.’
The OPC coordinator in Ibarapa Zone, Olanrewaju Ogedengbe, said: ‘Forty-seven of them were arrested at Ofiki River. They were caught with Dane guns and after their buses were searched; sophisticated guns, bows, and arrows, charms, catapults, and bullets were also found. Those arrested said they were brought from Ilorin, Iseyin and other places.’
The Commandant of Amotekun Corps in the state, Col Olayinka Olayanju (retd), said the clearance operations carried out on Saturday were fully supported by Fulani leaders, living in the areas, adding that some members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), were part of the operations.