There was uproar on Monday in Idiyan, Ibarapa area of Oyo State, following the killing of four men by suspected loyalists of Iskilu Wakilin, who was on Sunday apprehended by members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and handed over to the police.
Wakilin is believed to be behind kidnapping, killings and raid on farmlands in the area.
The victims were allegedly hacked to death around 2am in their homes. Two of them were said to be members of a local vigilance group.
Confirming the killings, Oyo State Police spokesman Olugbenga Fadeyi, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), said their bodies were deposited at Fadok Hospital morgue for autopsy.
He said: “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.”
OPC leader Gani Adams, Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yorubaland, condemned the murder, saying the audio and pictorial evidences at his disposal indicated that the killers had been terrorising and kidnapping people in the area.
He also condemned the arrest of OPC members involved in the apprehension of the kidnap suspect by the police.
Adams said the arrest was unfortunate, recalling that major breakthroughs recorded by the police in Oyo State were through the cooperation of the local security outfits, including OPC and the vigilante groups.
According to the OPC leader, the group had contacted its lawyers to determine the way forward.
Also Monday, Governor Seyi Makinde demanded an update from Commissioner of Police Ngozi Onadeko on the security situation in Kajola, Ibarapa North Local Government Area.
The governor, who said there would be no miscarriage of justice, said that culprits, irrespective of ethnic background or religion, will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Makinde spoke at the Government House during the presentation of textbooks to secondary pupils.
On Sunday, three OPC members apprehended Wakilin in Ayete, Ibarapa. But, the police later arrested and accused them of arson and murder.
Makinde 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.”
Adams said the OPC will not be deterred by the onslaught of the police in its patriotic determination to rid Southwest of kidnappers, arsonists and other criminal elements.
He said stakeholders will not allow insecurity in Yorubaland to degenerate to the level of monumental tragedy ravaging the Northeast and Northwest.
He told reporters in Lagos that the arrest of OPC members after they had apprehended Wakilin was in bad faith.
Adams said: “It is unfortunate that the Nigerian police acted like that. What they did made us to 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 harboured the policemen for two weeks. They could not arrest them.”
The OPC leader said 40 members of the group were involved in the serious operation in the village that led to the apprehension of Wakilin, adding that they deserved celebration, and not arrest.
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 6pm and 7pm, Wakilin was got. The Nigerian police do not want security and safety of our people.”
Adams said Wakilin is not blind as being speculated, alleging that he is pretending.
He claimed: “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 on a vehicle. Then, the police arrested OPC members. The police acted like that because of order from above.
“The kings and community leaders perceived Wakilin as a spirit, who could turn to anything. The DPO and OPC had been strategising on how to arrest Wakilin. 60 per cent of the breakthroughs of the police were through the support of OPC and other local vigilante groups.”
Adams said the Southwest Stakeholders Security Group will not allow insecurity in the Southwest to degenerate to the level of Northeast and Northwest.
Urging Yoruba to unite, he added: “Our problem is disunity. Yoruba native doctors strengthened Wakilu. All of us should cooperate together to make the Southwest safe.”
In a separate statement by his media aide, Kehinde Aderemi, the Aare urged to rid bandits and kidnappers of Igangan forests.
He alleged that kidnappers had collected over N800 million as ransom from their captives in the axis.
”Wakilin’s men have displaced more than a million residents in the over 10 villages in Oke Ogun. They have raped and killed residents at will.”
The statement identified the late Alhaja Sherifat, the late Dr. Fatai Aborode and many others, as those who had fallen victims to those who have have been terrorising the people for more than six years.
It reads: “Wakilin is a comedian, pretending to avoid being investigated. He was hale and hearty but started pretending shortly after he was captured.
“It is sad that kidnapping and killing still continue unabated without any clue as to the time it will end.
“Today, four men were hacked to death at Idiyan village, and it is sad and most unfortunate that the police have not been able to unravel the killers till the present time.”