Miyetti Allah Kicks against Arrest of 46 Armed Men in Oyo

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By Kemi Olaitan

The Chairman of Miyetti Allah in Oyo State, Alhaji Ibrahim Jiji, yesterday kicked against the arrest of 46 Fulani men since Saturday by those he described as soldiers, insisting that those arrested are not criminals but members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), who were helping in securing the people of Ibarapaland.

He also condemned the alleged killing last Saturday of a 75-year-old man and his two children at Aiyete in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of the state.

Some men armed with guns and other dangerous weapons were arrested in Igangan, Oyo State by men of Operation Burst, which is a joint security team, involving soldiers and policemen.

The suspected armed hoodlums were arrested in the early hours of Sunday at Ofiki River along Tapa/Igangan road in the Ibarapa North LGA of the state.

The armed Fulani were allegedly invited by their kinsmen in the area following the raid carried out by the men of the Oyo State Security Network Agency known as Operation Amotekun in the axis on Saturday.

Amotekun said it raided hideouts of kidnappers in the area on Saturday leading to the death of three persons while one of its men was also injured.

The security outfit said the raid was carried out in collaboration with Miyetti Allah, hunters, and others.

The Coordinator of Odua People’s Congress (OPC) in Oyo State, Rotimi Olumo, confirmed the incident.

The OPC coordinator in Ibarapa Zone, Olanrewaju Ogedengbe, when contacted said the armed men were loaded in three buses.

He said, “47 of them were arrested at Ofiki River. They were caught with Dane guns and after their buses were searched; sophisticated guns, bows, and arrows, charms, catapults, and bullets were also found.

But Jiji while addressing journalists alongside other leaders of the Miyetti Allah group, at the palace of the Seriki Sasa, in Ibadan, yesterday, called on Governor Seyi Makinde, to help in securing the release of the arrested men.

He insisted that the suspects were among the people invited to rescue some kidnap victims in Ibarapaland.

He disclosed that the arrested men were part of the team that was to assist the Amotekun corps to wage war against kidnappers on the day they were arrested.

“They invited us to a meeting in Ibadan where they told us that they needed our support to fight insecurity in Ibarapa area. We told them that we are going to give them 50 among our vigilantes who are Fulanis.

“They have been doing the Vigilante job for a very long time; therefore, they know how to arrest criminals. When the Amotekun were about to leave for the operation, we were still in Eruwa with some of our men who are vigilantes when we heard they have attacked the village. That was when those of us who are leaders stood up and went to the village. When we got there, we saw that three people have already been killed. When I saw the incident, I approached the commandant of Amotekun to know his view on the incident.

“I asked why they didn’t wait for us but he didn’t answer me. We called our men who are waiting for us in Eruwa to leave the venue of our meeting that they should return to their homes because Amotekun have done another thing. Our plan was not to kill anybody. In the evening of the same day (Saturday) one of the Vigilantes called us that two people were kidnapped in Igangan area of the state, we called the Vigilantes and told them that they should go and search for the criminals that kidnapped those children but they must inform police before going. While going, they were arrested in Igangan.

“They called us that Soldiers have arrested them. They told us that the commandant of the soldiers has left for palace of Seriki Igangan. Returning from the palace, the commandant just arrested them and took them to police station. Those who were going to fight criminals are the set of the people they are parading as criminals. Those people are not criminals but they are the people securing us. They are registered Vigilantes and they are working with police and other security agencies.

“I am appealing to state government to leave these people. They are not thief. They are the people who are securing us because we may need them in another time. Why we want them to include our members in Amotekun is because of language barrier. We appeal to Oyo State government to include other tribes in Amotekun for efficiency of their job.”