•Abductors demand N20 million ransom
•Let’s use traditional method to protect ourselves — Oba Omonigbehin
By Rotimi Ojomoyela
APPREHENSION, fear, uncertainty and unease are gradually fading away when the news filtered into Ewu-Ekiti that their monarch, the Elewu of Ewu, Oba Adetutu Ajayi was recuperating and responding to treatment.
The inhabitants of the agrarian community heaved a sigh of relief and the joy in the community was palpable as the gloom and forlornness since the monarch was shot and kept at the Intensive Care Unit of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, disappeared.
Oba Ajayi, the Elewu of Ewu in Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti State was shot by unknown gunmen last Friday when he was travelling to the neighbouring Ayetoro Ekiti, in Ido/Osi Local Government.
According to a family source: “The monarch was travelling in his car to Ayetoro when the bandits waylaid him and in an attempt to escape, they pursued him and rained bullets on his car.
“The bullets hit him on the legs, arms and stomach. The traditional ruler is now receiving treatment in a tertiary hospital in Ekiti.”
The second in command to the monarch, Oniju of Ewu Ekiti, Chief Adewunmi Gbenga told Vanguard during a visit to the community that the health condition of the monarch is improving, compared to what it was when the incident happened.
He said: “I visited him four days ago but the doctor on duty told me that we should allow him to rest so that drugs administered to him can work effectively.
“I also called the Olori to confirm his wellbeing and she told me that he is getting better.”
Adewunmi noted that the news of Oba Adetutu’s improved health status had doused the tension among Chiefs and residents of the town, while normalcy had returned to the community.
He lamented that if such could happen to a monarch, citizens needed to be security-conscious.
“We are not happy that no one has been arrested in connection with the shooting, Police should ensure that the perpetrators of the evil act are arrested and charged to court,” he said.
And they struck again
Hardly had the news of the attack on Elewu died down, than the bandits struck again, this time, it was Oba David Oyewumi the Obadu of Ilemeso-Ekiti in Oye Local Government.
Suspected gunmen, numbering six, invaded Obadu’s palace last Thursday evening and abducted the monarch.
Just like a scene from one of the Nollywood movies, the gunmen scaled the fence of the Obas’s palace and shot sporadically into the air to scare the occupants and made away with the traditional ruler.
N20 million ransom
A family source told Vanguard in Ado Ekiti that Obadu’s kidnappers had contacted the family of the monarch and made a ransom demand of N20 million.
A week earlier, a farmer, Isaac Agbanigo was kidnapped in Ikere Ekiti, Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Agbanigo was said to have been abducted in the presence of his family members, while returning home from his farm at Ajengbede, along Ikere-Ise road around 4:00pm on Saturday.
He had since regained freedom after the payment of an undisclosed amount of money, just like the wife of the late Surveyor-General of the state who was abducted in her house and taken to somewhere in Kogi but was also freed after the payment of a huge ransom.
Once upon a peaceful state
Ekiti is gradually losing its peaceful and safe-haven status to becoming a kidnapper’s den as nobody appeared to be safe anymore.
Unfortunately, monarchs have become a very soft target for the bandits.
The last time a monarch was kidnapped in the state was in 2010 when the late Attah of Ayede, Oba Adeleye Orisagbemi was abducted alongside the then acting Provost of College of Education, Dr. Gabriel Olowoyo.
Unfortunately, the duo couldn’t make it back home as they were killed in a gruesome motor accident somewhere in Ilasa-Ekiti, Ekiti East Local Government Area when their abductors tried to escape with them.
Let’s use traditional method to protect ourselves—Oba Omonigbehin
The Olomuo of Omuo Ekiti, Oba Noah Omonigbehin said that it has gotten to the stage where every community should be using the traditional method to protect themselves as the government has failed in its responsibility of securing the lives and property of the people.
Oba Omonigbehin charged security agents to be up and doing in the discharge of their duties.
Police must arrest kidnappers, bandits—Oba Alabi
On his part, the Chairman of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi called on the police in Ekiti State to swing into action by arresting those behind the kidnappings and other social vices in the state.
While wishing the Elewu of Ewu-Ekiti a quick recovery, the Ekiti State police Public Relations Officer urged anyone with useful information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators and other criminal elements in the state to inform the nearest police station.