Murdered Ekiti Monarchs Led Campaigns Against Attacks By ‘Fulani Bandits’, Says Lucky Monarch, Alara Of Ara-Ekiti, Who Survived Ambush
An Ekiti monarch who recently escaped a deadly attack by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, Alara of Ara-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Fatoba, has narrated his experience.
The assailants killed his two counterparts who were in the vehicle with him during the attack last Monday – Onimojo of Imojo-Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Samuel Olusola and Elesun of Esun, Oba David Babatunde Ogunsona.
Narrating the ordeal to Awikonko TV Live, Fatoba said he narrowly escaped death and that the monarchs were killed because of their efforts to ward off marauding Fulani herders killing people in their areas.
He said, “We have a security committee in the local government. There are 25 communities in Ikole Local Government Area. When Fulani people started coming in to graze and do all sorts, we got permission from the police to assist them. This was about three or four years ago. I was made the chairman of the committee. One of my counterparts killed (Onimojo of Imojo) was the deputy and we used to go everywhere. We volunteered to do it for Yoruba land.
“They killed someone Aiyebode and Aiyedun and my deputy called to tell me that these people were back. It was on a Sunday so I told him that I would come on Monday.”
Fatoba said on Monday, they went there to make their findings and on their way back, they were attacked by the armed men.
“I was reading something on my phone when I suddenly felt that the driver slammed the brakes. As we looked up, we saw guns pointed at us. If they were kidnappers, they would ask us to get down, raise our hands and so on. I wish I could show you my body, you would have seen the cuts,” he said.
He said the assailants were many but three people first attacked them.
“I noticed that they didn’t understand English. They were with a big machete and they had other ones too. I saw AK-47, a pump-action gun and a locally made one,” he said.
According to him, as he wanted to get out of the vehicle, one of the assailants tried to hit his head with a weapon but he used the door to protect himself “so it was the door that was hit”.
He said he managed to get out and run.
“It was a war zone,” he said.
According to Fatoba, he could hear the sound of gunshots behind him as he ran.
“People who said that I disappeared, I want them to know that it is a lie. I ran to try to the security guards that we put in that area because it had been a hotspot. I wanted to get to them.”
He said when he got to one of the security guards, he asked him to shoot into the air but the gun jammed.
When asked how the driver was not killed, he said, “They didn’t concentrate on the driver. He wore a shirt and had a small stature. They only killed the ignition and collected the car key. They killed the others,” he said ruling out notions that he and his driver escaped with the aid of spiritual power.
“What happened was that they first came to me. Two came out from my right side and one from the left side. They came aggressively. The moment they collected the car key from my driver, they left him. He prostrated on the floor with his hands on the ground.
“As for me, I fought my way out and they shot. I heard the gunshots. God didn’t allow the shots to hit me. By the time I looked back, my colleagues were on the ground. I don’t know how that happened. Some cars that were behind us had to reverse,” he said.
“I was reading something on my phone at the time, so the attack came as a surprise. I lost my phone but the security guard had the phone number of the monarch whose community was close by. It was the monarch who mobilised more security guards to meet us there.”