Charles Nwoke, Lagos, Nigeria
January 13, 2021
The Lagos State Police Command said it had arrested four persons in connection with Clashes between two rival secret cult groups that have claimed 14 human lives within three days as of Tuesday, in the Obun-Ale, Ireshe, Ladega, Itunpate, Kokoro-Abu and Adamo areas of Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria.
The crisis which started on Sunday was said to have ensued between suspected members of the Aiye and Eiye confraternities.
Farouk Aderibigbe, an eyewitness, revealed to newsmen that the clash commenced when suspected members of the Aiye Confraternity shot dead four persons, an innocent motorcyclist inclusive, simply identified as Pastor, around Ireshe and Obun-Ale on Sunday.
“Cultists have scattered everywhere in Ikorodu; members of the Eiye and Aiye groups have started clashing again and a lot of people, including innocent residents, have been killed. Around 7 pm on Sunday, members of the Aiye Confraternity stormed the Obun-Ale area and shot three Eiye cultists dead; two others, who were also shot in the neck, were rushed to the Ikorodu General Hospital, but we don’t know if they survived,” said Aderibigbe.
“Also in the night, a motorcyclist’s dead body was seen opposite Oriwu Merchant, along the Ireshe Road. The victim’s motorcycle was found beside him. We gathered that the cultists, who invaded Obun-Ale, were fleeing on motorcycles when one of their motorcycles stopped abruptly. The pastor was riding his motorcycle to a destination in the area when the cultists waylaid him and shot him dead.”
Another source that witnessed the horrible incident, who pleaded anonymity, told newsmen that suspected members of the Eiye Confraternity in retaliation on Monday allegedly shot dead two rival members, and killed a businessman that is still yet-to-be-identified while he was trying to resist the cultists from looting his shop.
“Around 11 am on Monday, members of the Eiye Confraternity retaliated by shooting an Aiye member, Ola, to death at his barbershop on Idera Street in Itunpate. Around 1 pm, they proceeded to the Kokoro-Abu area, where they apprehended another rival member, stripped him naked, and shot him in the head in broad daylight. Not done, the Eiye members later went to the Ladega area and shot a businessman dead during an attempt to rob him at his shop,” he narrated.
However, the lingering conflict worsened on Tuesday, when seven persons believed to be innocent, were allegedly shot dead by suspected members of the Aiye Confraternity, who raided the Adamo area of Ikorodu and caused the said havoc.
“Around 2 pm, the Aiye cultists suddenly stormed the Mojoda-Aro area of Adamo and started shooting at innocent persons. They shot more than seven persons to death and I saw their corpses. Some of the victims were businessmen and women, who were protecting their shops from being looted. We have called the Onyabo Vigilante Group, but it refused to intervene despite the tension everywhere.
“A lot of people are mourning in Adamo as I speak with you and many have deserted their homes and some cannot open their shops. Everywhere is deserted; residents are scared of going out and a lot of people, who went to work this morning (Tuesday), are unaware of what has happened in Adamo,” an eyewitness said.
A source in the Onyabo Vigilante Group who does not want his name mentioned, said, “The reason why Onyabo refused to intervene is that the local government is not paying us. One of our boys sustained a bullet wound while attempting to apprehend cultists and the Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government, Wasiu Adeshina, was notified, but he refused to help us. The monarch has called us and we told him that we are not working.”
According to PUNCH, when the Local Government Chairman, Wasiu Adeshina was contacted, he said, “Every month, there is a cheque that we issue to the Onyabo Vigilante Group to assist the outfit in cases like this. But when this case happened on Sunday and I learned about it, I quickly called the DPO to go into action and the police are on top of the situation.”
When contacted, Muyiwa Adejobi, the state Police Public Relations Officer, said, “There was a clash between cultists and our division in Imota intervened to restore normalcy in the affected areas.
“We have arrested four suspects and we are going after other fleeing members of the groups. We are not aware of any death as we have yet to recover any corpse.”