Olu Adegoke, one of the leaders of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in Ibarapa of Oyo state, says the return of Iskilu Wakili, a Fulani leader in the area, will not be a welcome development.
On Sunday, a team of security operatives led by OPC had stormed Wakili’s home in Kajola area of Ibarapa, and arrested him after an alleged gun battle with his men.
Speaking from the state criminal investigation department in Oyo on Monday, Wakili dismissed claims that he is a criminal, adding that he has also been a victim of kidnapping, having paid millions of naira to secure the release of his two sons from their abductors.
The Fulani leader also denied all allegations against him.
The police, however, later said Wakili was moved to a hospital for treatment after OPC handed him over.
Speaking on the arrest, Adegoke condemned what he described as the “VIP treatment” granted the Fulani leader by the police after his arrest.
“I live in Igangan, but Wakili operates from Ayete and Kajola. Those of us who are in the forefront of the fight against herders’ oppression should be commended for our bravery. But we now live in fear because there are traitors who thrive from the crisis,” the OPC leader claimed.
“Those who are in the town where Wakili operates supply information to the herders. They are Yorubas like me. I have spoken to the media about the powers of Saliu, but Wakili was in the background. He came to prominence after his son said instead of fighting Seriki Saliu, they should try to face his father (Wakili).
“They know what they are doing together. Wakili is more deadly than Saliu. Saliu respects him so much. There are people who can talk about Wakili’s oppression, but they are afraid of being killed. But we are brave to speak about what we know.”
However, Jimoh, a Fulani herder who was one of the people that fled Wakili’s compound when OPC struck, told TheCable on Wednesday that his principal is a peace-loving man that has helped many Yorubas in the cattle business.
“He is not what people now call him. He is peaceful and he has helped raised cattle for many Yorubas. He has many friends among the people. The way he was treated was not good, because he has lived among the people for many years. I met him 11 years ago and he has been like an uncle to me,” Jimoh said.
Asked if Wakili would return to Ibarapa area in the event of his release, Jimoh said he was sure the Fulani leader would like to continue working in Kajola.
“I am sure he will like to continue reading cattle and doing charity in that area. He has sons that can take over from him but they need his experience,” he added.