The traditional ruler of Iyemero, Ekiti State, Oba Ebenezer Ogungbemi, has dismissed the claim by the Commissioner of Police for the state, Mr Asuquo Amba, that the police preliminary report indicated that nobody died in an alleged attack by suspected herders against farmers in the community two days ago.
Oba Ogungbemi insisted that the assailants killed two persons in the attack perpetrated in a farmstead in Eda community in Iyemero, Ikole local government. He described the dead persons as a seven-year-old boy and a man, who he said died in the hospital where he was rushed to.
Amba had, in a statement on Tuesday, dismissed as “mere hearsay” the claim that two persons were killed by suspected herdsmen.
But the monarch insisted, while speaking yesterday with a delegation sent by Governor Kayode Fayemi to commiserate with the town, that two persons were killed.
He said, “They invaded the community at midnight and shot a seven-year-old boy whose head they scattered with bullets. They also shot a couple in the other house and the husband has died after the two of them were rushed to the Ikole General Hospital but the bullets in his body could not be extracted early enough. They have removed the bullets from the wife’s body and she has been referred to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, for treatment.
“What we know is that the robbers used to escape through the Ikole-Itapaji-Iyemero-Eruku route to Kwara State after robbing banks in Ado Ekiti. It is a fact that we have a porous border. My people should be on alert and we are already mobilising the local hunters to work with the security agencies to tame the perpetrators. People can no longer go to their farms because they are afraid. About 60 of them have been displaced and they were here in my palace till today (Wednesday) before they left.”
Oba Ogungbemi restated his call for the establishment of a police station in the town to curb the killings.
Condoling with the monarch, Fayemi, represented by the Information Commissioner, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, said government would take every necessary step to nab the killers and bring them to justice.
The governor added that his administration was ready to pay the hospital bills of the victims and relieve them of that burden. “We sympathise with you because the lives of the Ekiti people are precious to us in this government. As part of the ways to arrest this situation, the governor has begun the construction of a police post in Iyemero. We are assuring you that something like this won’t happen again,” he said.
On Oba Ogungbemi’s insistence that two persons were killed in the attack contrary to the police report that no life was lost, Fayemi said, “The governor knew there was loss of lives and that is why we are here to commiserate with the town. But in spite of this provocative attack, the people should remain calm and be law-abiding, particularly the farmers. What we were told was that it was an armed robbery issue, according to findings and report, but whatever dimension or form it must have emerged, we are prepared to tackle it.”