Tumult in Oyo: Four slain in Ibarapa renewed fracas

Tumult in Oyo: Four slain in Ibarapa renewed fracas
Charles Nwoke, Ibadan, Nigeria
March 9, 2021 

Residents of Idiyan, Ibarapa axis of Oyo State, witnessed a serious uproar on Monday following the killing of four indigent members by suspected loyalists of Iskilu Wakilin, who was on Sunday arrested and handed over to the police by members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC).

Wakilin who is believed to be the brain behind abductions, killings, and attacks on farmlands in the area by unidentified armed men suspected to be Fulani militia.

The victims were allegedly hacked to death around 2 am in their various homes. Two persons among the slain victims were said to be members of a local vigilante group.

Confirming the killings, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Olugbenga Fadeyi, the Oyo State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, said their bodies were deposited at Fadok Hospital Mortuary for autopsy.

“It was reliably gathered that unknown gunmen attacked and killed four men at Kokobido village, Diko Ile, near Ijio, at about 0300 hrs of today. Efforts intensified to arrest the perpetrators of the crime,” he stated.

Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yorubaland and OPC leader, Gani Adams, condemned the murder, saying the audio and pictorial evidence at his disposal indicated that the murderers had been terrorizing and abducting people in the community.

He equally bemoaned and shrugged over the apprehension of OPC members involved in the arrest of the kidnap suspect by the police.

The OPC President said the arrest was unfortunate, recalling that major successes recorded by the police in Oyo State were through the cooperation of the local security networks, including OPC and the vigilante groups.

Adams said the OPC will not be deterred by the assaults of the police in its patriotic determination to wipe away kidnappers, arsonists, and other criminal elements out of the Southwest part of Nigeria.

He said stakeholders of Southwest Nigeria will not give room for insecurity in Yorubaland to degenerate to the level of monumental tragedy ravaging the Northeast and Northwest parts of the country.

He told newsmen in Lagos that the apprehension of OPC members after they had arrested Wakilin was in bad faith.

“It is unfortunate that the Nigerian police acted like that. What they did made us regret our support for them when hoodlums hijacked the #EndSARS protests.

“Wakilin has been acting like a terror. No police, no security agent could arrest him. He was involved in series of kidnappings in Igangan, Ayete, Igbo-Ora. He was the godfather of kidnappers.

“The police made two attempts to arrest him. They went with between 12 and 15 vehicles. The chairman of the local government harbored the policemen for two weeks. They could not arrest them,” Gani Adams said.

He disclosed that 40 members of the group were involved in the serious operation in the village that led to the arrest of Wakilin, adding that they deserved to be celebrated, and not to be put behind bars.

He stressed, “Wakilin’s kinsmen were with guns, bows, and arrows. When OPC stormed the place, his boys escaped, moving among cows, and they went to the Republic of Benin. Between 6 pm and 7 pm, Wakilin was got. The Nigerian police do not want security and safety of our people.”

The OPC leader said Wakilin is not blind as being speculated, alleging that he is only pretending to be blind.

“He came to Kara (near Lagos) last week to buy drugs and food. He is acting drama. He was arrested in his house and put in a vehicle. Then, the police arrested OPC members. The police acted like that because of the order from above.

“The kings and community leaders perceived Wakilin as a spirit, who could turn to anything. The DPO and OPC had been strategizing on how to arrest Wakilin. 60 percent of the breakthroughs of the police were through the support of OPC and other local vigilante groups,” he stated.

“Our problem is disunity. Yoruba native doctors strengthened Wakilu. All of us should cooperate together to make the Southwest safe,” he added, urging the Yoruba ethnic group to unite.

The group had contacted its lawyers to determine the way forward, according to Gani Adams.

In another development, Governor Seyi Makinde, yesterday, demanded an update from Commissioner of Police Ngozi Onadeko on the security situation in Kajola, Ibarapa North Local Government Area Council of Oyo State.

The Governor, who stated that there would be no miscarriage of justice, revealed that anyone involves in crime, irrespective of ethnic background or religion, will be decisively dealt with following the laws of the land.

Makinde spoke at the Government House during the presentation of textbooks to secondary pupils in Ibadan.

The Governor said, “I am aware of what is going on in Kajola. I will like to use this opportunity to tell our people that. the government is doing everything within its power to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice.

“I have asked the Commissioner of Police to see me today and I have been given the assurance that they will do a thorough investigation into the security situation in the area.

“I appeal to our people to please, let us be calm. Please, let us refrain from ethnic-profiling; let us have trust in the ability and the capability of the people saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order within our state.

“It is the government that you put in place and the government will continue to work in the interest of the people of Oyo state.”

Three OPC members arrested Wakilin in Ayete, Ibarapa on Sunday. But, the police later apprehended the OPC members and accused them of arson and murder.