Home Special Report Killing Of Ekiti Obas: Survivor, Alara Of Ara-Ekiti Speaks About How He...

Killing Of Ekiti Obas: Survivor, Alara Of Ara-Ekiti Speaks About How He Escaped

Alara of Ara-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Oba Adebayo Fatoba...
Alara of Ara-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Oba Adebayo Fatoba...

The Alara of Ara-Ekiti in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba Adebayo Fatoba, has relived how he escaped death in the hands of kidnappers who killed two other traditional rulers he was travelling with last week.

Gunmen ambushed and killed the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin, and the Onimojo of Imojo, Oba Olatunde Olusola, on Irele road while returning from a security meeting.

Oba Fatoba said he managed to escape from the assailants.

The Alara told reporters that he did not disappear from the scene of the incident, as some people have been speculated.

The first-class traditional ruler admitted that though the hail of bullets the kidnappers fired at him did not penetrate his body, he ascribed his escape to the grace of God.

Oba Fatoba said he was returning from a security meeting in the neighbouring town when the armed daredevils stopped their car and pounced on them.

According to him, he and the other two monarchs fought the kidnappers before they were overpowered with their superior firearms.

The traditional ruler described his late colleagues as brave leaders who sacrificed their lives for the peace of their communities, Ekiti State, and Yoruba land.

On how the incident occurred, Oba Fatoba said: “We have about 25 communities in the Ikole-Ekiti and there was a security committee which I am the chairman of and one of the deceased monarchs was the vice chairman.

“There have been repeated attacks by herders on farmers in our areas because we have large forests here. So, when the attack was becoming too frequent on our people, we sought permission from the police to intervene and the permission was granted.

“So, when we received another report of an attack by the herders where one of our people was killed between Ayebode and Ayedun, we decided to move in. We had visited the community where the incident happened. We were discussing how the late Onimojo, an Associate Professor,  was planning to move from the Federal University of Technology in Akure (FUTA) to the Federal University at Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) on Irele road when the herders appeared from nowhere.

“We never knew they are many because about three of them pointed guns at us. We tried to struggle with them but they began to fire at us from different angles. Though the bullets did not enter, but I realised that they were fully armed with sophisticated weapons. We ran from the scene to a checkpoint mounted by our local hunters.

“But seeing the firearms in the hands of the kidnappers, the local hunters couldn’t advance. I even asked one of our local hunters to return fire but his Dane gun could not work. By the time I looked back, I saw my fellow obas in the pool of their blood.

“It was really a very sad experience. My colleague monarchs sacrificed their lives and died for their people. I would admit that the bullets did not penetrate through my body but I did not disappear, as being speculated,” Oba Fatoba said.

Also, one of the suspected killers of the monarchs has been apprehended by security operatives.

Speaking with reporters yesterday at the Ekiti State Police Headquarters in Ado-Ekiti, the suspect, identified as Alhaji Babusa Lede, confessed to being among the gunmen that killed the two traditional rulers.

Babusa, who addressed reporters in Yoruba, said: “Five of us were on the road for the operation. I am a herdsman and I have my cows in the bush. The other four threatened to shoot me if I did not join them in the operation.”

“They brought the ammunition and I was going about in the bush with my cows when they said I should join, and I joined them.

“When we were in the bush, we saw the vehicle conveying the three traditional rulers from distance and we jumped on the road.

“We didn’t plan to kill the traditional rulers, but I can’t remember what happened. My friends shot at them and we ran away. They left the bush immediately. They have been kidnapping people for ransom. I joined them once to kidnap and they gave me N5,000 from the money they collected.

“It was when I came to town from to buy garri that I was arrested by security operatives.”

Credit: thenationonlineng.net

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