Herdsmen Attack: Ekiti Residents Flee for Fear of Mass Killings

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Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

To prevent mass killings following the demise of a farmer, Tunde Olayemi suspected to have been killed in Ipao Ekiti a week ago by suspected herdsmen, residents of the town have been fleeing the community in droves.

The visit of the Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose to the community for confidence building didn’t stop the residents from taking precautionary measures because of the Benue and Zamfara experiences.

The governor visited the troubled spot alongside Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abdullahi Chafe, but the locals are still gripped by fear of a possible attack by herdsmen in the future.

The fear was further heightened by the attack on the residence of a politician, Mr. Akinsola Adu, in the early hours of Wednesday by unknown individuals, inflicting serious wounds on the gate man.

The beleaguered residents have been relocating to safer towns and villages since Wednesday and the exodus continued at the time of filing this report on Saturday.

Recounting their ordeal, a resident, Gbenga Eniafe, said the people of the community no longer sleep with their eyes closed after the latest attack, as they believe their security was no longer guaranteed.

Eniafe said: “Ipao is becoming desolate by the day because people pack their belongings everyday and leaving for where they believe their lives are safe.

“Our people are scared that another attack by the Fulanis is imminent; nobody knows when they will attack the town again and they don’t want their blood to be spilled again.

“It is only the aged people and the physically challenged that cannot leave because of their condition. Some who fled to places that are not far come in the day time and pass the night in their new abodes. It is very unfortunate that both federal and state governments are helpless to protect our people from these Fulani invaders.”

Four unknown individuals reportedly laid siege to the home of Akinsola, who was said to be away on holiday to the United States of America.

His house in Akure, the Ondo State capital where he resides, was attacked in similar fashion in 2017. The politician whose mother is an indigene of Ipao was former chairman of Idanre Local Government in Ondo State.

The invaders wounded his gateman, whose name was given as Anthony Egeh, an indigene of Benue State, who has been taken to his village by his kinsmen over insecurity in Ipao.