The residents of Igangan town in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State have called on the Oyo State Police Command to immediately release the men of the Oodua Peoples Congress detained for arresting notorious Fulani warlord Iskilu Wakili in the Ayete area of Ibarapaland.
This was contained in a statement made available to The Punch on Sunday by the President, Igangan Development Advocates, Oladokun Oladiran.
The Punch had reported that the OPC led by Adedeji Oluwole, the Abuja state coordinator, arrested Wakili and three of his men on Sunday morning.
Before his arrest, farmers and residents of Ayete and neighbouring villages including Igangan lived in perpetual fear of Wakili who they accused of displacing them from their farms.
It was also gathered that Wakili, who is said to be the leader of the herdsmen in Ayete worked with dozens of herders who are his disciples. Together with his battalion, they allegedly seized hectares of farmlands at Ayete, raped the women in the rustic town, and kidnapped their rich men for ransom.
The OPC leader said it took over four days of continued operations and surveillance to nab Wakili and three other men.
He said Wakili was arrested and handed over to the police but expressed shock that at least three of his men were detained by the police for arresting Wakili.
Reacting, the indigenes of Igangan described the arrest of the OPC operatives as an “assault on the sensibilities of all men and women of good will, not only across Yorubaland but anywhere in the world”.
He said, “Criminals are supposed to be the ones that are under arrest and detainment but the situation is reversed in the case of Iskilu Wakili. We’ve seen the trend where those who are supposed to be celebrated are arrested. We should celebrate OPC men and not victimise them.
“We will continue to shout for the whole world to hear it. It is morally wrong to celebrate criminals and victimise heroes. Wakili is a criminal who terrorised us for so many years. The OPC operatives are heroes. Those who arrested them should desist and release them immediately and commend them.”