I watched how gunmen rained bullets on late monarchs—Alara
By Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
The Alara of Ara-Ekiti, Ikole local government area of Ekiti state, Oba Adebayo Fatoba, has recounted his ordeal and how he miraculously escaped an assassination attempt on him and other less fortunate obas by their assailants.
Oba Fatoba who escaped the assassination attempt along Itapaji/Oke-Ako was traveling alongside two other of his colleagues and was attacked by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
The physically disturbed monarch spoke in the palace of the Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, during a condolence visit to commiserate with the family of the deceased monarch, Oba David Babatunde Ogunsakin
Recounting his ordeal, the monarch described his escape from the scene of the incident as an act of God, however denied the insinuation that he disappeared from the scene by traditional means.
He explained that on the fateful day, he left his hometown, Ara-Ekiti to Irele-Ekiti in Ajoni Local Council Development Area, to attend the meeting of the Northern Traditional Rulers in Ekiti State.
He explained that the meeting was also attended by all other traditional rulers in the Northern Senatorial District of Ekiti state and was aimed at reviewing the security situation in the zone and other developmental issues relating to the traditional institution in the area.
Oba Fatoba said he was traveling in his own branded private car and drove himself, while two other monarchs who were killed in the incident were traveling in the same car owned and driven by the late Onimojo of Imojo-Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Samuel Olusola, while the late Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba David Babatunde Ogunsakin also joined him in the car.
He said the two late monarchs had left the venue of the meeting a few minutes before him, while he was following them.
The monarch explained that he was driving and looking at how the yet-to-be-identified gunmen numbering about six suddenly emerged from the bush, waved the late monarchs down at a bad portion of the road, and started raining bullets on them.
“I was looking at them from a distance not too far, after a sharp corner, I saw them when they emerged from the bush and waved them down.
“I suddenly applied the brake and immediately turned back. After I turned back, I was looking at them from the mirror of my car how they were raining bullets on the monarchs.
“After killing them, they equally cut them with a machete and dragged their bodies into the bush. At this time, I was seriously disturbed and drove back to Irele-Ekiti, to inform other members of our colleagues”
“Those that had left, I started waving them down and informed them of the sad incident, all of us drove back to the community and gathered in a place until a detachment of Army and other security officers came and led us out of the community.
‘We did not notice the body of the slain monarchs on the road while we were going out of the town, not knowing that after killing them, they equally dragged their bodies into the bush”
Describing the situation as a sacrilege, sad one, and unacceptable, he explained that several kidnapping attempts on him since he ascended the throne have always failed,
The development was one which he attributed to his closeness to God. He said shortly before he left the venue of the meeting, he did not sense any danger.
On what the government should do to prevent future occurrence, Oba Fatoba called on the Federal Government to assist Ekiti State by deploying more security personnel to the state, saying the move would help in beefing up security.
Oba Fatoba who stated that the state is under-policed also demanded that the State Government should empower the traditional rulers with adequate resources to police and secure their respective domains to complement the efforts of the security agencies.
He also suggested the need for the traditional rulers to take necessary measures to ensure all forests currently occupied by bandits and kidnappers are combed and that no bushes and forests should be occupied by bandits.