Murdered Obas led campaign against Fulani invasion, says escaped Alara of Ara

“They died defending Yorubaland”

By Ogunsona Samuel and Ologeh Joseph

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 His Royal Highness Oba Adebayo Fatoba escaped

A third Yoruba Oba, Onikoro of Ikoro, His Royal Highness, Oba Segun Aremu (rtd General) was also killed while his wife was abducted.

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

He said the two plus himself 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 killed 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. 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 the invasion of our land by Fulani armed men “

He said the slain Onimojo of Imojo had just been elevated to an Associate Professor.

He said the team set out for a security meeting in Kogi and 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 said 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.

He said the Fulani attackers held AK47 guns, pump action guns and cutlasses. He said they were many in number

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

He said 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.

He said since then, there have been several cases of kidnapping and killings.

An Ikole local government official who does not wish to be named said the killing of the Onikoro of Koro Ekiti, General(rtd) Segun Aremu was not unconnected with his role on resisting the Fulani armed invasion. Other local sources said Ikoro has been the epicentre for ransome payment.

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

He recalled that an industrialist from Ayede Ekiti was kidnapped 10 years ago. He said the Fulani men took the woman to the forest at Ikoro and kept her for three weeks. This was a woman who had started ethanol factory located at Itapaji Ekiti.

He said the factory employed about 50 people.

“The Fulani herdsmen kidnapped her. The chiefs came from Ekiti to settle the Fulani inside the Ikoro 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 Ikoro forest. A Commissioner in Ekiti State, Folorunso Olabode was also kidnapped. They even shot and killed his aide. They brought him to Ikoro forest. The traditional ruler of Obo was shot. The attackers fled to Ikoro forest. The Ikoro forest is their fortress where they keep large arms.”

He said the Oba of Ikoro rose against them.

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

Sources told Irohindoodua that the armed Fulani are in large numbers inside the forest at Ikoro,an historical town whose forebears came from Ile-Ife through Ikoro Ekiti.

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 Ikoro forest as their operational base. People kidnapped from Edo, Ondo, Kwara and Ekiti States are often brought to the Ikoro forest. That is where the negotiation for ransome takes place” Pa Samuel Madele of Ponyan, in Kogi told Irohinoodua.

According to local sources the Onikoro has been in the forefront in 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 market place 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.”

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