Three persons suspected to be herdsmen were on Friday arrested while robbing commuters along Usho road in Ise Ekiti, the police said.
Usman Ibrahim, Ali Salisu and Sidikia Manbagri, along with two others, had blocked the highway and unleashed terror on their victims before police arrived.
They were reportedly armed with guns and other dangerous weapons.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the hoodlums began their operation at about 10 a.m. on Friday, but the residents quickly informed the police.
They had dispossessed their victims of their monies and other valuables before the police arrived.
It was learnt that on sighting the police, they abandoned their operation and fled.
Two of them were immediately apprehended. One was later picked as the police combed the adjoining bushes.
Confirming the incident, the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State, Asuquo Amba, said some men “suspected to be herdsmen mounted a roadblock, and robbed residents”.
“We are still into it to find out why they behaved that way,” he said. “We will brief the press on further development.”
Also, the Chairman, Joint Security Committee of Emure, Ise and Ikere council areas, Tunji Falana, applauded the police for their quick intervention which he said saved the situation,
Mr Falana appealed for an increase in the number of police personnel in the area.
“Ise has about 300 farmsteads and over 30 routes,” he said. “The police need more men and vehicles. Prevention is better than cure. The police here are working under very difficult conditions with an abysmal police to civilian ratio of 1:7500.”
Armed herders have become a major source of concern since the last administration under Ayo Fayose.
Several clashes between farmers and herders had generated tensions, leading to the death of some persons.
Meanwhile, there was panic in Emure Ekiti, following the gruesome murder of a retired principal, Femi Ayeni, on Thursday.
His killers reportedly broke into his home at about 10.30 p.m. along Ise Road.
Although the police in Ekiti are yet to respond to the killing, it was reliably gathered that the unidentified gunmen had stormed Mr Ayeni’s home to rob him, but killed him in the process.
The corpse of the deceased has been deposited in the morgue at Emure General Hospital.