Residents of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital are beginning to lose count of how many people have been killed by suspected cultists lately, Our Source reports.
At a time the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led government is still in search of solutions to the herdsmen crises in the Yewa axis of the state, residents of Abeokuta are seeking solutions to the incessant cult clashes that have sent many to early graves.
Aside from those who have been killed in the cult clashes across Abeokuta, our correspondent reports that many have sustained varying degrees of injuries, even as the incidents continue with no end in sight.
Findings by Our Source confirmed that most of the clashes have always been a result of the supremacy battles between different confraternities like Aiye, Eiye, and others.
The rival cult groups, it was gathered, had been taking turns to kill one another in retaliation for the deaths of their members.
In places where the rivals clash, locals said they were always seen with weapons, including guns, causing panic among members of the public.
“In Igbore, whenever they start their clashes, people will be running helter-skelter. Traders will have no choice other than to lock up their shops for safety. They fight any time, be it day or night,” a resident, who identified herself as Aanu told Our Source.
In the Ago Ijesha area of Ijeun Titun, no fewer than 10 persons have been killed in the past few weeks by the rival cult groups, Our Source reliably gathered.
On Friday, a dead body was said to have been picked up at Ago Ijesha by the police. The young man was reportedly shot dead, while an attempt was also made to cut off his hand by his killers.
The police have made some arrests and the case is being investigated as of the time of filing this report.
In Ago Oko, Somorin, Obantoko, Lafenwa, Ijaye, Nawarudeen, and many other places, the story has remained the same.
A reliable source, who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that two persons were killed at Obantoko a few days ago.
The source disclosed that hardly will a night pass by without a case of killing in the various police divisions in Abeokuta.
“In the last few weeks, I don’t think a night can pass without a case of cult killing in the various divisions in Abeokuta. In fact, the Ijaye State Hospital mortuary officials are already tired of how police bring corpses every day. Many have been sent to the great beyond in the past few weeks. We don’t know what is happening,” the source confided in our correspondent.
Gov Dapo Abiodun has recently threatened to deal with criminals in Ogun State, regardless of who they are or where they come from.
“We will not condone any act of criminality in the state no matter who is involved. We will not allow anybody to disrupt the peace in Ogun State, and anyone who tries to test our resolve to maintain peace in our state will have himself or herself to blame”, the governor had said.
However, as the crisis continues unabated, Abeokuta residents complain that the Ogun State Government is not doing enough to secure lives and property.
Locals who spoke to our correspondent did a comparison between Abiodun and his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, saying the incumbent needs to be up and doing.
Rahmon Hassan, a trader at Isale Igbein, Abeokuta said the police have not been doing enough to stem the tide of cult clashes in Ogun State.
Hassan expressed fear that the ugly development might spread to other parts of the state if nothing is done immediately.
Also, a civil servant living in Osiele, Abeokuta, appealed to the police to put efforts in top gear towards stopping cult killings in Abeokuta and the entire Ogun State.
But, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said it will be unfair for anybody to say the police have not been doing anything to put an end to cult clashes in the state capital.
In an interview with Our Source on Sunday, Oyeyemi said the police have been clamping down on cultists in the state with some suspects in custody.
The police spokesperson also revealed that many of those arrested have been arraigned before different courts in the state.
The PPRO, who said he could not confirm the number of persons killed recently by cultists, blamed residents for failing to provide the police with the necessary information that could lead to the arrest of those disturbing the peace of the society.
“Nobody will say the police are not doing anything about cult clashes, considering the number of arrests we have made. These cult clashes are something we have been urging the public to give us information about. It is when they start attacking before people will start calling us that this is what is happening.
“We have been living up to the expectation on this issue. We’ve made a lot of arrests. Many of them have been prosecuted, some are still under investigation. So, for anybody to say police are not doing anything about it, think it is an unfair comment on their part.
“How many of them do a follow-up after they make a report to know whether the person they reported, we’re investigating him or not? Some will even make a report and after the arrest, they will just abandon the case and move away,”
Asked to give the number of deaths recorded as a result of cult clashes in Abeokuta a month ago, Oyeyemi replied that, “there’s no way I will get that data unless I get to the office and check our records.”