Members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), on Sunday, razed a Fulani settlement at Kajola, in Ibarapa area of Oyo State, in an attempt to arrest an elderly blind man, called Wakili Fulani, who they alleged to be a kidnap gang leader.
In the process, Daily Trust gathered, a woman, suspected to be Wakilin Fulani’s wife, was killed in the inferno.
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The police later confirmed the attack and the murder of the woman.
Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Abubakar Jijji, who confirmed the attack to Daily Trust, said the action was a setback to the association’s search for peace and harmony.
The Oyo State Police Command, in a statement by its spokesperson, CSP Fadeyi Olugbenga, said at around 9 am on Sunday, it was alerted that some unidentified persons, who were later found to be members of the OPC, had invaded Kajola community.
“The invasion was reportedly aimed at arresting one Wakili, a Fulani by tribe, who is alleged to be the sponsor and mastermind of various criminal attacks against the people/farmers of Yoruba origin in the community.
“The State Commissioner of Police has quickly moved into action and preliminary findings revealed that some OPC members went to Kajola community in Ibarapa North Local government Area of Oyo State.”
The police confirmed that the house of the wakili was set ablaze, while an unidentified female was burnt in the fire.
The wakili, who the police said is about 75-years-old and blind, and two other persons were apprehended by the OPC gang.
“The three of them are presently in the custody of the Police. The Commissioner of Police has directed that Wakili (due to his frail appearance and state of health), be moved to the Hospital, while others are being interrogated. Others being interrogated are the OPC members, involved in arson and murder.”
The chairman of Miyetti Allah in Oyo state, described the attack as unjust and unfortunate, saying his association has been working closely with the state government on ways to find a lasting solution to insecurity bedevilling the state.
He bemoaned what he described as incessant attacks by members of the OPC and Amotekun on members of the Fulani ethnic groups and their settlements.
“They recently went to Bode Musa market and shot our people that went to transact their legal businesses. They killed our people over a very minor altercation.
“Just two days ago, they killed two old men, and five other persons sustained gunshots. We have their pictures and all pieces of evidence that the authorities may require. In Agware, Amotekun went there and killed people. They went to seize machetes from the Fulani which they resisted and they killed them.
“They should understand that herdsmen cannot go without a knife and machetes because they use it to slaughter their sick animals.”
Jijji said MACBAN will hand over anybody suspected to have committed an offence to security operatives for investigation. Surprisingly, they don’t differentiate between criminals and innocent citizens. They visit markets and shot indiscriminately at people who come to transact businesses.”
Jijji said the attack on Kajola came as Fulani leaders were working with security and community leaders to investigate allegations labelled against the Wakili.
“We advised security operatives to form a committee that will investigate his case and come up with a fair report of whether he committed the said offence they accused of or not.”