Wakili’s arrest: IAJP hails OPC, calls for release of arrested members

The International Alliance for Justice and Peace (IAJP) has commended the men of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) for the exceptional efforts made in capturing the leader of the notorious gang known for terrorizing the people of Ibarapa area, Oyo state.

Recall that men of OPC on Sunday arrested one Isikia Wakili, a notorious leader of a violent gang that has continuously unleashed terror on the people of Ibarapa for many months.

DAILY POST reports that Wakilk was handed over to the police authorities after his arrest.

Two people were also reportedly killed during the operation to arrest Wakili who had been on the wanted list for alleged kidnapping offenses.

Reacting, IAJP in a statement released commended the OPC for carrying the operation without any bloodshed to the alleged gang leader and members, even in the face of utmost provocation.

According to IAJP, “the OPC has not only inspired hope among the long suffering residents of the beleaguered community, it has also laid down a high standard for cooperation between citizens and police and security forces in the collect effort to tackle the menace of gang violence terrorism across Yoruba land.”

IAJP also condemned strongly the arrest of four members of the OPC team that effected the apprehension of the deadly Wakilu and his men adding that it is outrageous act on the sensibilities of all men and women of good will.

“Tragically however, we are horrified to hear reports that men of the Nigerian police have arrested four members of the heroic OPC team that commendably and impeccably effected the apprehension of the deadly Wakilu and his men!

“This alleged act is an outrageous act on the sensibilities of all men and women of good will, not only across Yorubaland but anywhere in the world!

“It is an established and acceptable principle of law that citizens have the right to, and are in fact encouraged to apprehend individual or individuals who have committed or are in the process of committing indictable or felonious acts, the likes of those Wakilu and his men have been accused.

“Citizen arrest, especially when carried out with utmost regards to the requirement of the law as exemplified by the men of the OPC in this present matter, is not only commendable, it is also a charitable community act that should be encouraged.

“We call on the police high command to investigate this reported incident, as it undermines the working synergy that should exist between the police and neighbourhoods’ security stakeholders.

“It also validates the perception that the Buhari-led Nigerian security forces are outdoing themselves to confirm long held suspicions that it is complicit in the campaign of terror currently ravaging Yoruba land.

“ If not convincingly rebutted, it would essentially further set a dangerous message that restraint and cooperation with security agencies is not a viable option for law abiding citizens who only want to live their lives in peace.

“It is now imperative and urgent for the security forces to correct this impression taking hold among the populace before peoples’ minds are closed up on the growing image of security agencies as champions of terror.

“The minimum action required to address this negative impression is not just to either convincingly rebut the accusation, or mete out the right punitive actions on the officers responsible for this breach of the rules of official engagement, but to immediately expedite action on the prosecution of Wakili and his gangs!

“Finally, we strongly believe that this well-coordinated engagement that had culminated in this bloodless arrest brings to the fore the need to further legitimise local security initiatives of communities,” the statement said.