It was shocking for the people of Ekiti, South West Nigeria, as gunmen on Friday night attacked a traditional ruler in the state, raining bullets on his car.
The traditional ruler who was identified as Oba Adetutu Ajayi, the Elewu of Ewu-Ekiti in Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti State, came out of the incident with some injuries.
Witnessses told newsreportersng.com that though, the monarch escaped death, but was said to have sustained gunshot injuries and now being hospitalised in one of the medical facilities in the state.
A source told Journalists in Ado-Ekiti, on Saturday, that the monarch was traveling in his official car to a neighbouring town, Ayetoro-Ekiti, in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of the state when the gunmen struck.
“The monarch was traveling 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 source said.
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 Babatunde 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.”
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 State.
Meanwhile, the State Council of Traditional Rulers has condemned the shooting of the monarch, calling on security agents to ensure the quick arrest and prosecution of the gunmen.
The Chairman of the Council and the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi in a statement by his Media Adviser, Ajibade Olubunmi, said “the perpetrators of the heinous crime must immediately be apprehended by security agents and given swift prosecution.”
“The Alawe expressed worry at the increasing rate of banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminal activities in Nigeria, called on security agents to increase the tempo of reducing the menace of crime throughout the country.
“Oba Alabi prayed for the quick recovery of the traditional ruler, Oba Adetutu Ajayi, the Elewu of Ewu-Ekiti from hospital.”