From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
Some gunmen suspected to be land speculators have allegedly attacked some students living in some hostels in satellite area of Iworoko-Ekiti in Ekiti in Irepodun-Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state.
The attack was said to be over issues over land dispute between lying between Ado-Ekiti and Iworoko.
A yet-to-identified female was said to have been almost strangled as 50 mobile phones of the students were allegedly snatched by the hoodlums who were all reportedly bent on forcefully taking over the land from Iworoko people.
Residents of the Satellite area, a settlement between Ado-Ekiti and Iworoko-Ekiti, said eight armed men had been unleashing terror on the hostel facility for some days before they were apprehended by policemen, on Tuesday night.
A traditional leader of Iworoko community and the Ogotu of Iworoko, High Chief Bada, said the hoodlums usually attack the communities with unmarked vehicles.. They also allegedly destroyed some houses in the settlement.
“Students of EKSU had cried to the Iworoko police stations to complain that the hoodlums snatched their cell phones and destroyed the hostel facility. What these people are doing is very wrong. The land on which the hostel facility they attacked is built, has been a subject of dispute between our community and the Irasa people who are under Ado-Ekiti monarch, Ewi of Ado, Oba Rufus Adejugbe.
“The government has already intervened into the case by setting up a committee to look into the land dispute and asked our community and Irasa to vacate the place and desist from causing trouble on the land pending the time they would come up with a resolution.
“But because of the Census coming up, the people of Irasa are already sending their thugs to invade the land and forcefully take it over. We appeal to government to deal with these hoodlums who have already been rounded up by the police, ” he said.
Ojo Adu, another Iworoko resident, attributed the alleged attack by the land speculators to the census exercise being planned by the Federal Government ahead of 2018 national population census, saying: “the Irasa and Ado people want to forcefully take over our land so they can have better numerical strenght against us but we owe the land and we will not allow them to succeed.
A student of the institution who craved for anonymity, said: ” the gunmen have been attacking us in the hostel for over a week now. They usually come in the night armed and the last time the first time they came on February 16, they took cell phones of over 50 of us the students.
Responding to the allegation, another Chief from Irasa community, simply identified as Onirasa, denied sending thugs to forcefully take over the settlement saying: “those who attacked the hostel facility might just be some robbers on their own business. We cannot send any thugs against Iworoko people because we know the settlement belongs to us as part of Ado-Ekiti extension.”
When contacted to confirm the development, Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Alberto Adeyemi said: ” I cannot confirm it now as we are away for another assignment in Osun. I will get back when we are back”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Reporter saw the police van which conveyed the suspects to the Ekiti State police command on Tuesday night.