The Alara of Ara in the Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba Adebayo Fatoba, has recounted his escape from a recent attack by gunmen that resulted in the tragic deaths of two of his colleagues last Monday.

On January 29, Fatoba escaped after gunmen killed two monarchs: the Onimojo of Imojo, Oba Olatunde Olusola, and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin, while returning from a security meeting.

The killing of the Ekiti monarchs raised eyebrows over the increasing insecurity in the country, with a spate of kidnappings across the country.

Speaking to Awikonko TV Live in a video on Sunday, Oba Adebayo Fatoba recounted the harrowing experience, stating that the community had sought permission from the state police to address the persistent attacks by herders on the communities.

His words: “We have a security committee in the local government. There are 25 communities in the Ikole Local Government Area. When Fulani people started coming in to graze and do all sorts of things, 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 who was killed (Onimojo of Imojo) was the deputy, and we used to go everywhere. We volunteered to do it for Yoruba land.

“So it happened that they came to check some people’s houses between Aiyebode and Aiyedun communities. They killed someone there. Then 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.”

“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.”

Narrating his escape, Fatoba stated that the situation was a “war zone” and dismissed claims that he ‘disappeared’.

He said, “I noticed that they didn’t understand English. They had a big machete, and they had other ones too. I saw an AK-47, a pump-action gun, and a locally made one. One of the assailants tried to hit my head with a weapon, but I used the door to protect myself, so it was the door that was hit.

“It was a war zone. People who said that I disappeared—I want them to know that it is a lie. I ran to the security guards we put in that area because it had been a hotspot. I wanted to get to them.”

According to him, upon reaching one of the security guards, he instructed the guard to fire into the air, but the firearm jammed. He added that the security guards were gripped by fear and were unable to approach them for a rescue operation.

Speaking further, he added that his driver also escaped because the gunmen did not concentrate on him and only collected the car key.

He said, “They didn’t concentrate on the driver. He wore a shirt and had a small stature. They only collected the car key. They killed the others; we didn’t escape with the aid of spiritual power.”

He continued, “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.

“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.”

On Sunday, the Ekiti state police command paraded one Alhaji Baboga for his alleged involvement in the killing of the two traditional rulers.

February 5, 2024

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