Ekiti Obas Murdered Over Opposition to Fulani Invasion, Says Escaped Alara

The killings of some Yoruba Obas was connected to their outstanding opposition to the infiltration of Yoruba territories by armed Fulani men

His Royal Highness Onimojo of Imojo, Oba Olatunde Samuel Olusola and His Royal Highness, Elesun of Esun, Oba Oba David Babatunde Ogunsona were murdered by suspected Fulani armed men on Monday.

The third, Alara of Ara, Ikole Local Government Area of the state, His Royal Highness Oba Adebayo Fatoba escaped

Another Yoruba Oba, Onikoro of Koro in neighbouring Kogi State, His Royal Highness, Oba Segun Aremu (rtd General) was also killed while his wife was abducted.

The Alara, Oba Fatoba, who witnessed the killings of his colleagues but escaped death by the whiskers said the Obas were killed because of their involvement in various open and secret meetings to ward off the growing Fulani killing of innocent people in their domain.

He said the two and he were outstanding in fund raising and campaign to rid the area of terrorists and armed invaders.

He spoke in an interview with an online TV monitored by Irohinoodua.

The Alara and two other kings, the Onimojo of Imojo and the Elesun of Esun were both savagely shot last week Monday by people believed to be armed Fulani terrorists.

“We have always been concerned about the armed Fulani men in our ancestral homeland” the Alara said.

He said the previous day before the attack on them, a man was killed on the previous Sunday prompting the summon of a security meeting.

“There are 25 communities in Ikole Local Government Area. We set up a security committee. I am the Chairman and the associate professor, Onimojo of Imojo was the vice. We are concerned about the invasion of our land by armed Fulani men“, Oba Fatoba said

He said the slain Onimojo of Imojo had just been elevated to an associate professor.

The Oba said the team set out for a security meeting in Kogi, adding that that on their return, they had wanted to branch at Irele-Ekiti, but changed their mind because it was getting late into the night.

He explained that they were heading towards Ipao-Ekiti when the armed men came from the bush to confront them. He said he saw them and realised they were armed Fulani.

Oba Fatoba said the Fulani attackers held AK47, pump action guns and cutlasses, adding that they were many in number

He said it was not true that he disappeared using magical powers.

According to him, he only managed to escape and heard the rain of bullets behind him as he ran for safety.

The Akogun of Irele-Ekiti Chief Abejide Kehinde told Irohinoodua the armed men began to settle in the area about 10 years ago.

Since then, he said, there had been several cases of kidnapping and killing.

An Ikole Local Government official, who did not wish to be named said the killing of the Onikoro of Koro-Ekiti, was not unconnected with his role in resisting the armed Fulani invasion.

Other local sources said Koro has been the epicentre of ransome payment.

“When they kidnap people from Edo, Ekiti, Kogi and Ondo, they bring them to the forest at Ikoro where they send for ransom” Oye Adegbe, a native of Egbe and hunter told Irohinoodua

He recalled how an industrialist from Ayede-Ekiti was kidnapped 10 years ago.

Adegbe said the Fulani men took the woman to the forest at Ikoro and kept her for three weeks, adding that that was a woman who had started ethanol factory located at Itapaji-Ekiti, employing about 50 people.

“The Fulani herdsmen kidnapped her. The chiefs came from Ekiti to settle the Fulani inside the Koro forest. Two indigenes of Ipao-Ekiti, one being a former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly were also kidnapped on their way to Abuja. They brought them to the Koro forest. A Commissioner in Ekiti State, Folorunso Olabode was also kidnapped. They even shot and killed his aide. They brought him to Koro forest. The traditional ruler of Obo was shot. The attackers fled to Koro forest. The Koro forest is their fortress where they keep large arms”, he disclosed, adding the Onikoro
rose against them.

“This might be the reasons why they came against him. Its really a big shame to the Yoruba Nation. Its sad”, Adegbe said.

Sources told Irohindoodua that armed Fulani were in large number inside the forest at Koro, an historical town whose forebears came from Ile-Ife through Ikoro-Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area of Èkiti State.

Speaking on the murdered Onikoro, he said he usually hold series of meetings with hunters in his homestead providing his skill and resources.

“He dedicated the last 10 years of his life to defending his people and protecting them. Ikoro people are aware that the community has been infiltrated and invaded by armed Fulani in the past 15 years. They use the Koro forest as their operational base. People kidnapped from Edo, Ondo, Kwara and Ekiti states are often brought to the Koro forest. That is where the negotiation for ransom takes place” Pa Samuel Madele of Ponyan, in Kogi told Irohinoodua.

According to local sources, the Onikoro has been in the fore-front of the battle against the invaders

“He puts down his money and time. He spends his energy dealing with insecurity. He is embarrassed that as a retired General, his domain has become the marketplace of extremism”, Medale said.

The murdered Oba was said to have created a strong nexus between Yoruba Obas in Ekiti and Kogi states on collective security strategy until his demise, the immediate junior brother of Onikoro, Adelaja Aremu said

“For me, I think it’s the peculiar nature of our location. I try to farm at home and these bandits have been raiding our community and I have been calling the attention of the authorities to my encounters with them.

“When I had my first encounter with the bandits, I reported to the police, but nothing happened. The second time I had an encounter with them, I informed the police again. Even when the All Progressives Congress women leader was killed by bandits during electioneering, the governor came to see the late monarch, but nothing changed after he left.

“These bandits have camped themselves in certain areas and we are at their mercy because we don’t have people to speak for us. None of our people go to their farms anymore because bandits will go to farms and kill people.

“When they first raided my farm, they rustled the cattle in my ranch. I restocked and they returned in May last year and rustled 74 of my cattle again. They also attacked the man I hired to tend them and left him for dead on the farm”, he explained.