Again, Ekiti Community Protest Fulani Invasion, Scores Wounded
By Wuraola Abimbola
Hundreds of Ekiti youths, women and children have taken to the streets following another Fulani invasion of their communities. At least one person, a Tiv settler was killed in the all night invasion of three Ekiti communities, Irele, Oke-Ako and Ipao Ekiti that left several people wounded.
Picture of Irele, Oke Ako women protesting this morning
About 100 locals took part in the protests in the communities isolated in the valleys of Ekiti North. The youths carried placards some of which read “Enough of Fulani invasion. Enough of the killings. We are surrounded by armed Fulani herdsmen. Save us.” The protests took place for several hours after which each dispersed to their homes.
The youths said the night raid by the Fulani started on Sunday and did not subside until the early hours of today.
“The invaders first came on Sunday night. They attacked our harmless communities with sophisticated weapons. Again they came on Monday and Tuesday. The last attacks were carried out in the early morning of today. In the fracas, one Tiv settler was killed”, Mr Femi Osasona, spokesperson of the community told Irohinoodua after the visit by our correspondent today.
A community leader (PDP) Mr Abejide Kehinde said the the Fulani came with “rare weapons that they operated in ways that showed they were highly trained. They raped innocent people and carted away foodstuff apart from killing an innocent soul”
Another community leader in Oke-Ako said some of the traditional rulers in the community have been compromised. “Some of the Chiefs took money from Fulani herdsmen in exchange for land. It’s appalling. The Fulani have settled in the deep forests of our ancestral homes. Our women can no longer go to the stream. Our men are not armed and cannot go their farms. The bigger problem is that when our sons and daughters come from abroad, they certainly will be easy targets by the armed Fulani who are also involved in armed robbery”, a local Chief told Irohinoodua today at Oke-Ako. He said the recent attacks were a prelude to future onslaught on the entire state adding that at present the Fulani herdsmen are “encamping in the bushes with sophisticated weapons.”
Last year, Oke Ako was attacked by the same herdsmen leading to the death of no fewer than two people while scores were wounded. The State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose responded by visiting the communities urging them to ward off the invaders. He also gave them a Toyota Hiace bus to patrol the area. However, a woman leader in the community told Irohinoodua today that an aide of the State Governor, Mr Dele Olugbemi, who was once imposed willy nilly as the Speaker of the House of Assembly by Mr Fayose, had collected the Hiace Bus from the natives “at gun point”
The woman said “Mr Olugbemi invited the community leaders to a meeting. The meeting was going on when he hijacked the bus and he has failed to return the bus since then. He has converted the bus to personal use.”