Herdsmen Attack: Ekiti Monarch Faults Police Claim on Death Roll

  • Fayemi decries killings

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

A traditional ruler in Ekiti State, the Olu of Iyemero, Oba Ebenezer Ogungbemi, has insisted that two people have been killed in the attack allegedly carried out by suspected Fulani herders in a farmstead in the town.

The monarch dismissed the claim by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Asuquo Amba, that preliminary report indicated that nobody died during the attack.

This is coming as Governor Kayode Fayemi, represented by the Information Commissioner, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, said the state government would take every necessary step to nab the killers and bring them to justice.

Some suspected Fulani herders last Monday invaded a farmstead called Eda in Iyemero in Ikole Local Government Area and shot a seven-year-old boy during a raid and a couple whom the husband later died in the hospital.

Having been reported that two people died in the attack, the police in a statement issued by Amba last Tuesday dismissed the claim that two people were killed, describing it as mere hearsay.

But the monarch yesterday insisted that two persons were shot dead. He stated this when the delegation sent by the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to commiserate with the town visited the traditional ruler.

Oba Ogungbemi said the victims confirmed to him that Fulani herdmen who had been having a running battle with the farmers perpetrated the ‘dastardly act’.

According to him, “They invaded the community at midnight and shot a seven-year-old boy in the head. They also shot a couple in the other house, and the husband died after they were rushed to Ikole General Hospital as bullets could not be extracted from his body early enough.

“They have removed the bullets from the body of his wife and she had been referred to Federal Teaching Hospital in Ido Ekiti for treatment.

“What we know is that the robbers used to escape through Ikole-Itapaji-Iyemero-Eruku route to Kwara State after robbing banks in Ado Ekiti; it is a fact that we have a porous border.

“My people should be on the alert and we are already mobilising the local hunters to work with the security agencies to tame the perpetrators.”

The monarch restated his calls for the establishment of a police station in the town to curb what he described as ‘these vampires’.

He added: “The correct information now is that two people had died. People can’t go to their camp because they are afraid.

“About 60 of them have been displaced and they were here in my palace till today (Wednesday) before they left.”

Condoling with the monarch, Fayemi, represented by the Information Commissioner, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, said the state government would take every necessary step to nab the killers and bring them to justice.

Fayemi added that his government was ready to pay the hospital bill of the victims in order to relieve them of the burden.

“We sympathise with you because lives of Ekiti people are precious to us in this government.

“As part of the ways to arrest this situation, the governor has begun the construction of a police post in Iyemero. We are assuring you that something like this won’t happen again,” he said.

On the revelation made by the monarch that two persons had died due to the attack contrary to the police’s report that no life was lost, Fayemi said: “The governor knew there was loss of lives, and that was why we are to commiserate with the town.

“But in spite of this provocative attack, they should remain calm and be law-abiding, particularly the farmers.

“What we were told was that it was an armed robbery case according to findings and report, but whatever dimension or form it must have emerged, we are prepared to tackle it,” he promised.