A total of 16 people have been killed following a renewed spate of cult clashes in communities in Ogun State.
Last Thursday, a popular area boy known as Tommy was hacked to death at the popular Panseke market in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The clash, which was reported to be a battle between the Eiye and Aiye cult groups, took a more dangerous dimension immediately after Tommy was murdered.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that before Tommy was killed, six other persons had been killed in different parts of Abeokuta.
A source, who preferred to be anonymous, listed those killed in Abeokuta as Scatter, School Boy, Alakanni, Tommy, Azeez, Olaosebikan, Alameda, and Babajide.
The killings were said to have taken place at different locations such as Asero, Kugba, Ikereku, Adigbe, Oke Ijeun, Isale Abetu, and Panseke, where the popular Tommy was killed.
Locals say these uninterrupted spate of killings have not occurred in Ogun State in almost a decade. Areas in the state capital such as Oluwo, Mercy Road, and Mango have become regular sites of violent clashes and killings.
It was gathered that the clashes between the Eiye and Aiye cult groups have persisted, lasting for over a week, following the killing of key leaders of both groups.
Since Tommy was killed, several small business owners have refused to open their shops, especially around the Oluwo, Onikolobo, Mango, and Adigbe areas.
Tommy was buried at his house in Oluwo amidst tears on Saturday.
On Sunday night, gunshots, again, rented the atmosphere at Panseke as residents and motorists ran for dear lives.
On Wednesday afternoon, two gunmen shot dead one Dare Ojugbele, suspected to be a member of the Eiye cult group, in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area.
Abimbola Oyeyemi, the police spokesperson in the state, confirmed the attack, adding that the deceased had just been released from the Nigeria Correctional Service.
“We are on top of the matter, we have taken charge of the place and we have launched a manhunt for the miscreants.”
Fight spreads to Sagamu
Before 10:00 a.m. on Monday , at least eight persons have been reportedly killed in Sagamu Local Government area, a less than 50 kilometre distance from Abeokuta.
This happened on a day Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo, among other African leaders and the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, were attending a programme in the premises of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL.
Though the police said 18 persons have been arrested, calm seems not to have been restored in the troubled areas.
As early as 7 a.m. on Monday, sources said some young men stormed Sagamu, killing their targets.
While the lifeless bodies of some of the victims were picked up by the police, others were said to have been taken away by their relatives.
A resident, who does not want her name in print over fear of attack, said that one Akeem, an electrician, was attacked at Ajegunle area of Sagamu around 7 a.m.
“Akeem did not die immediately, but when they were rushing him to hospital, another bike hit them and he fell from the bike. That was how he died eventually. His intestines were coming out because he was shot in the stomach.”
It was also gathered that the Sagamu killings happened in different locations such as Soyindo, Ijagba, Ajegunle and Sabo; all in Sagamu Local Government.
Meanwhile, it will be recalled that immediately after Governor Abiodun resumed, he had declared a state of emergency in security as firms and notable individuals contributed for a more robust security in the state.
On June 11, 2021, Governor Abiodun handed over 55 patrol vehicles, motorcycles, 200 bullet proofs, 20 helmets and communication equipment to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, who was on an official visit to the state.
At the presentation ceremony, Mr Abiodun said the presentation of the security vehicles and gadgets to the police was another symbolic representation of his administration’s commitment towards providing a safe environment for residents.
After the Sagamu violence, the governor on Tuesday evening, through a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, told all security chiefs in the state to relocate to Sagamu.
In the statement, the State Commissioner of Police, Commander, 35 Artillery Brigade and the Director, State Security Service (DSS) were specifically mentioned and charged with the responsibility of fishing out the cultists.
The governor equally directed the security agencies to intensify efforts to apprehend those behind the killings in Abeokuta, the state capital.
“Our youths must resist the temptation to go into cultism and similar vices. This administration has invested heavily in programmes and activities designed to equip our youths with the necessary skills and education that could make their future better, as part of our Building Our Future Together agenda. They should not endanger that future by getting involved in crime.
“Parents and guardians must also ensure that their children and wards stay away from criminality.
“We have zero tolerance for any act that could disturb the peace we have been enjoying in Ogun State since the commencement of this Administration. We will deal decisively with anyone intent on disturbing that peace.”