Suspected bandits on Thursday evening invaded the palace of Obadu of Ilemeso-Ekiti in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba David Oyewumi and abducted the traditional ruler.
Ilemeso-Ekiti is a neighbouring town to Isan Ekiti country home of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
The latest abduction of the traditional ruler has reportedly thrown other obas into panic mode given the manner the latest abduction was carried out by the kidnappers.
During the Thursday evening attack, the gunmen said to be numbering six, scaled the fence to gain access into the palace and shot sporadically to scare the occupants.
A palace source added that the incident happened around 8.30 pm, when the chiefs who had earlier visited the place had dispersed.
The source said: “In the process of shooting, they gained entrance into the bungalow where the traditional ruler and members of his family were and started beating them.
“They were asking after the monarch which showed that they really came for him and not any other person. Immediately they sighted him, they dragged him and took him out of the palace to an unknown destination.”
Being the custodian of traditional and cultural heritage of the people in any society, traditional rulers and their stools are seen as revered and accorded much respect in the society but events in recent times have suggested that this age-long belief is becoming a thing of the past, especially in Ekiti State. These monarchs have been victims of attacks from gunmen who had been wreaking havoc in the state lately.
While many people including farmers, travellers, civil servants businessmen and women among others have been killed and kidnapped, traditional rulers are now subjects of attacks which many described as sacrilegious and a pointer to the complete breakdown of security arrangement in the state.
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When a first class traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of Ifon, Ose Local Government Area of the state, Oba Israel Adeusi was ambushed and shot dead on November 26, 2020, little did many know that was the beginning of onslaught on royal fathers by gunmen. The traditional ruler, who was returning to Ifon from Akure after a meeting, ran into the barricade of the gunmen along Alagbaka area.
In the last twelve months, Ekiti State has had its share of the insecurity bedevilling the nation with waves of criminalities such as killings, kidnappings, armed robberies and other heinous crimes across the length and breadth of the state.
While government and the security agencies are rolling out measures to ensure the security of lives and properties of the residents, these killers and attackers are appearing emboldened as the days go by.
The height of these crimes, is the recent and coordinated attacks on traditional rulers in the state. Between April 9 and 16, 2021, two different Obas were attacked in Ekiti State by unknown gunmen.
The Elewu of Ewu-Ekiti in Ilejemeje council area , Oba Adetutu Ajayi narrowly escaped death last week Friday as gunmen who emerged from the bush rained bullets on his car.
Though, the monarch escaped death and being abducted, he sustained severe gunshot injuries and is now being hospitalised in one of the medical facilities in the state. It was gathered that the bandits wanted to kidnap the monarch.
The monarch was travelling alone in his official car to neighbouring Ayetoro Ekiti, in Ido/Osi Local Government when the gunmen struck.
According to a source, “The monarch was travelling in his car to Ayetoro-Ekiti when the bandits waylaid him and in an attempt to escape, they pursued him and rained bullets on his car. They planned to kidnap him but when he wanted to manouvre his way from the ambush, they started shooting but he managed to escape with gunshots wounds.”
Attacks on monarchs troubling, we want deployment of troops in Ekiti —Alawe
The Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti and chairman of the Ekiti State Council of traditional rulers, Oba Ajibade Alabi has described as troubling the recent onslaught by gunmen on traditional rulers in the state.
The monarch in a statement by his media aide, Olubunmi Ajibade called on security agents including Amotekun corps to ensure the timely rescue of Obadu and maximum security across the nooks and crannies of the state.
He maintained that military personnel must be drafted to the state to support other security agents in driving out bandits and other criminal elements from the state.
According to the statement: “The Alawe who described the situation as embarrassing, worrisome and troubling, asked the police to spread its dragnets all over the state as well as increase patrols both day and night to stop the kidnappers from having free movement in Ekiti.”
Oba Alabi advised the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi to, as a matter of urgency recruit more personnel into Amotekun and ,”in addition to equipping the outfit with requisite equipment in order to monitor all routes and forests in Ekiti.
“The chairman of the Ekiti traditional rulers further suggested that the Army should be brought in at this stage to support other security outfits in flushing out all kidnappers from Ekiti forests and their hideouts.”
He called on residents of the state to support the security agents with timely and accurate information on the movements and activities of criminal elements in their communities.