A traditional ruler in Ekiti State and the Elewu of Ewu Ekiti in Ilejemeje Local government, Oba Adetutu Ajayi narrowly escaped death Friday evening, as suspected gunmen rained bullets on his car.
This happened less than 24 hours after a petrol dealer, Bayo Ifakorode was abducted in Isan-Ekiti by gunmen who emerged from the bush on motorcycles and his whereabouts unknown as of press time on Saturday.
Though, the monarch escaped death, but was said to have sustained severe gunshot injuries and now being hospitalised in one of the medical facilities in Ekiti State.
It was gathered that the bandits wanted to kidnap the First-class monarch.
A source told Tribune Online on Saturday that the monarch was travelling in his official car to the neighbouring Ayetoro Ekiti, in Ido/Osi local government when the gunmen struck.
He said, “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. They planned to kidnap him but when he wanted to manoeuvre his way from the ambush, they started shooting but he managed to escape with gunshots wounds.
“The bullets hit him on the legs, arms and stomach. The traditional ruler is now receiving treatment in a tertiary hospital in Ekiti.”
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, ASP Sunday Abutu, regretted that the incident happened in spite of the rigorous joint patrol, raiding of blackspots and combing of forests by his men to dislodge criminals.
Abutu said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Tunde Mobayo’s directive that the combined forces of police, Amotekun Corps, Vigilance Groups, Local Hunters, Chiefs, drivers Union, motorcycle riders, farmers and other stakeholders should carry out a joint operation was being diligently observed simultaneously across the 16 local government areas when the gunmen struck.
“The operation was aimed at dislodging and apprehending the miscreants in their hideouts as directed by the Commissioner of Police.
“But some unknown gunmen mischievously defied the operation, came out and attacked the Elewu of Ewu, Oba Adetutu Ajayi while he was on transit between Ewu-Ekiti and Ayetoro-Ekiti at about 1900hrs on Friday.”
Abutu added that the CP assured the public that the perpetrators will be brought to book, pledging that the command shall continue to work with relevant security outfits, ministries, stakeholders and organizations to ensure that criminality is wiped out of Ekiti.
The Police spokesman stated that the spirit of officers of the command and other supporting agencies and groups still remain high as the operation still continues indefinitely to stamp out bandits in Ekiti.
Meanwhile, the State Council of Traditional rulers has condemned the shooting of the monarch, calling on security agents to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the gunmen.
The chairman of the council and Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi in a statement by his media aide, Olubunmi Ajibade, said, “the perpetrators of the heinous crime must immediately be apprehended by security agents and given swift prosecution.”
“Alawe expressed worry at the increasing rate of banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminal activities in Nigeria and called on Security agents to increase the tempo of reducing the menace of crime throughout the country. ”
While wishing the traditional ruler a quick recovery from the hospital, Oba Alabi advised residents to remain calm and go about their normal businesses. (Tribune)