The O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) has debunked a statement by the Oyo State Police Command that its members burnt down the house of Iskilu Wakili, a notorious Fulani bandit accused of terrorising communities in the state.
Adedeji Oluwole, a OPC sector coordinator in Oyo State, made the rebuttal in an interview on Monday following the arrest of some OPC members after they apprehended Wakili and handed him over to the police on Sunday in Ibarapa area of the state.
But Oluwole, who led his operatives and other vigilante groups to arrest Wakili, insisted that no one was killed when ten of its operatives carried out Wakili’s arrest on Sunday morning.
He explained that Wakili and three of his accomplices were immediately handed over to the police in the Igboora area of Oyo State.
“We don’t know anything about that. After we arrested Wakili, we left the scene. We had no idea whether the house was burnt or a woman was killed. It was last night that we read the news that a woman was killed at the scene of the incident,” Oluwole told the Punch.
“We arrested Wakili and three of his men. Nobody touched them. We were not there to kill anybody or to burn the house.”
The OPC leader implored Yoruba leaders to intervene and ensure the release of his men, noting that the police have not charged them for any offence.
He said: “My boys are still in police custody but we call on Yoruba leaders to come to our rescue because these boys are innocent; they know nothing about these allegations. Up till now, they have not taken them to court and they are still in their custody. Even I myself, the police have been chasing me and I’m shocked because I have not committed any offence.”
Oluwole said he has no regret over the action he and his men took, lamenting that the Federal Government had allegedly been pampering Wakili for a long time.
He stated that it took over four days of continued operations and surveillance to nab Wakili and three of his accomplices, adding that Wakili’s men shot fiercely at the OPC operatives before they were eventually arrested.
He said: “We feel bad that the police treat our men like this while they pamper Wakili. We don’t have any regret whatsoever. We hand over everything to God. If the government cannot protect the people of Ibarapa and environ, I think there is nothing wrong if we protect ourselves.
“The case of Wakili has been on ground for several years and the Federal Government did nothing about it. But now that Wakili has been arrested, they started threatening us but we are not moved. We believe the people of Ibarapa will overcome this by the grace of God.”