Herdsmen attack Ekiti.Assailants suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on Friday evening invaded Oke Ako in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State killing two people and injuring four.
The assailants, numbering about 20, stormed the sleeping town around 8 p.m and unleashed terror on the residents.The attack came barely two weeks after Governor Ayo Fayose declared war on Fulani herdsmen, declaring Ekiti a “no-go area” for them.
Fayose had during his monthly media chat tagged: “Meet Your Governor” charged the people of the state to lace the rivers with “Gammalin Twenty” to poison the cattle of the Fulani herdsmen.
After the onslaught, one person died instantly, while four others that sustained gunshots and machete wounds were taken to the hospital in a police vehicle.
The deceased, Lekan Arosanyin, 36, a tailor, left behind aged parents, wife and four children.
Those taken to the hospital were Mrs. Seke Shittu, Ayo Abejide, Saka Lawal and Mr. Olomi Ibiteye.
Ibiteye, whom an eye witness said, had his stomach ripped open by a bullet, later died in the hospital on Saturday.
He was writhing in pains when our correspondent visited him earlier in a private hospital in Ikole-Ekiti.
Shittu, a trader, said the assailants collected N45,000 from her and also carted away recharge cards and stocks from her store.
“I am happy I didn’t die from the attack. They wanted to attack my children and others with me. It was while covering them that I received machete cuts. They were shouting, ‘Madam bring me money. Madam bring me money.’ I thank God they didn’t shoot me.”
Lawal said the youths were still discussing a report of possible attacks from the Fulani herdsmen when they invaded the town.
“We had gathered to discuss the issue. We agreed to pray to God to avert the crisis because one cannot predict the outcome of a war. Look at the havoc they have wrecked on our town now when all we wanted is peace.”
Abejide could not talk when our correspondent saw him. He was turning about in his hospital bed.
A source said a bullet pellet was still lodged in his skull.
It was gathered that Arosanyin had earlier been attacked by the herdsmen about two years ago.
“They inflicted machete cuts on him. The men were arrested and they later paid N150,000 compensation to him. He must have been their prime target,” a resident said.
Residents blamed the attack on the laxity of the police and their refusal to act on intelligence report.
Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kolapo Olusola, who visited the town in company with the Commissioner of Police, Etop James, on Saturday, said the state government would take all necessary steps to avoid reoccurrence.
When asked how he knew that the criminals were Fulani herdsmen, The councillor for Ipaoa-Oke Ako-Irele ward, Mr. Segun Kehinde, said
“Some people that hid in the bush saw their faces. They were also communicating in their language. Besides, they had already sent a message to us that they are coming to attack us.“Last week, six Fulani men that were overheard planning to attack us were handed over to the police, but they were released on Thursday by the police. And the attack took place on Friday. We also recovered the caps of the attackers.”