Tears flows as Orin Ekiti community mourns
local security leader stabbed to death by herdsmen after bullets failed to penetrate the deceased body.
He had died defending his community on Monday July 1, 2019, against suspected killer herdsmen who had invaded Orin Ekiti in Ido/ Osi council area of Ekiti State. A call in the midnight made the difference. However, his people are still in a state of disbelief that Emmanuel Ilori, 69, was no more. He was reportedly brave, energetic and a community security leader. He left behind six children. He retired as an engineer from the defunct National Electric Power Authority, (NEPA) in 2000 and returned home from his Jebba base in Niger State and later became a farmer. This, however, gave him the opportunity of the role of being one of the leaders of the community’s local security outfit. His wife, Rachael, is a retired teacher. His family concluded that their breadwinner was destined to die that fateful day.
According to his first son, Gbenga: “My father had all it took to escape unhurt after he was shot with AK47 rifles severally by his killers as none of the bullets penetrated his body. He had to singlehandedly face them while other hunters that accompanied him had fled.”
The weekend which preceded his death, however, the late Ilori was at a social gathering organised by a relative. He was in the midst of his friends and relatives. One of them was Mr Dada Olufemi Lawrence. When Nigerian Tribune visited the house of the lloris, Olufemi was completely lost as he fixed his eyes on the picture of his late friend, llori’s picture.
As painful as Ilori’s death to his family and the community, his first son, Olugbenga, vowed to continue where his father stopped in protecting the community from the influx of suspected killer herdsmen.
He disclosed that it was unfortunate that security agents that came when his father’s death was reported were afraid to enter the abandoned farm settlement where the suspected killers were.
According to him, one of the hunters who called to inform his father about the presence of the strangers at the farm settlement showed him the lifeless body of his father inside the abandoned piggery which was re-constructed by former Governor Segun Oni but later abandoned.
“The settlement is now known as Orin farm settlement and was established in 1959 by Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s government. The place has about 91 buildings built by the Awolowo administration with piggery, fishery sections, among others. The administration of Segun Oni tried to rehabilitate it but it has become moribund again. The place is now a hiding place for criminals.
“From what I saw, I know that my father was stabbed with a sharp object after the gun bullets did not penetrate his body. I suspect a collaboration of some natives with the killers because they had been around and some people were supplying them water and food,” he said.
The first daughter of the deceased, Mrs Olanike Akinwumi, who corroborated the explanation of her brother, said that she never knew that her father later went out on the fateful night after they had all retired for the night. He was said to have received a call informing him of the presence of strange persons at the farm settlement and as one of the hunters, he mobilised others to confront them.
Mrs Akinwumi described her late father as a man of the people who was loved by all, saying that he was bold and never ran away from challenges. She also confirmed that she had to personally provide fuel for the vehicles brought by the security agents before they were able to go to the scene of the incident.
The wife of the deceased, Rachael, went down memory lane that some herdsmen led by one Abase had been living at the abandoned farm settlement as far back as 1959, meaning they have been there the settlement was established in 1959 by Awo? She disclosed that one pregnant woman was also butchered there last year and after her corpse stayed at the mortuary for almost eight months, she was buried and up till now, the police in Ido/Osi local government are yet to make any arrest.