Members of Oodua People’s Congress who arrested and handed over a Fulani man, popularly called Wakili, to the police have given graphic details of how the alleged kidnap kingpin was captured.
The OPC members, who were also initially detained with Wakili, over alleged arson and murder of a female member of Wakili’s household, before their release about 48 hours after, said that series of events before Wakili’s capture, made them to take him to the police station for questioning.
They stated that they were ensuring security in Ibarapa zone, consisting of seven towns which were Igboora, Eruwa, Lanlate, Ayete, Tapa, Igangan and Idere, as indigenes had become afraid of going to their farms to avoid being robbed, kidnapped or killed.
In an interview by Saturday Tribune, the OPC members, who gave their names as Dauda Kazeem (38), Hassan Ramon (39) and Awodele Adedigba (45), denied any involvement in razing of buildings or killing anyone, saying that they left Wakili’s settlement for Igboora police station with him and three other people arrested by them, to hand them over to law enforcement agents for investigation.
One of the members, Kazeem, narrated the happenings that resulted in Wakili’s capture thus:
“I am from Igboora. I’m a farmer and an OPC member. Initially, there had been crisis between Fulani and farmers, so much that people could not go to their farms again. In Kajola and Baba Gbau Villages that share boundaries, we have our indigenes living in farms there.
“On Friday February 26, we received a call from one of our bosses that Fulanis were about kidnapping someone, and one of them ran away on sighting some OPC members. We were asked to go and assist others.
“On getting there, we caught three of them who wore masks, with the intention of abducting the child of one Baba Oodua.
“When they were taken to their settlement to search the place, a gun with ammunition was recovered from them by us. On the way out of the settlement, our members met Agro Rangers, a unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and handed the suspects over to them.
“Operatives from the Department of State Services (DSS) also came, and Agro Rangers said that they would hand them over to the police at Iyaganku in Ibadan.
“On Friday, March 5, we received another call that a woman was abducted close to Wakili’s settlement. Before that day, there had been incessant reports of robbery at that spot. They were so many that people became afraid to go to farms. If anyone needed to pick items from the farm, such would need about five OPC members as escorts.
“The woman went to buy cashew nuts for sale, and it was close to Wakili’s settlement. She was abducted and released some hours later, after the abductors collected the N350,000 she had with her as ransom, as she was unable to get more money.
“When we were told, we searched everywhere but could not see anyone to apprehend.
“On Sunday, March 7, it was a market day and we got out early to secure the place and protect those coming for purchases. On getting to a dangerous zone, close to Wakili’s settlement, we were about to park the motorcycle we rode there when we heard sporadic shooting. We didn’t know they had laid an ambush.
“Not knowing what was happening, we came out and started scouting for those to arrest for such criminal act. About a minute after, we saw them at a distance, running away. We decided to pursue them.