Enugu government on cultism

Residents of Sagamu, in Sagamu local government area of Ogun State, now live in fear, as no fewer than 20 young men were said to have been killed as the Eiye and Aiye confraternities resumed their usual supremacy battle in the town.

It was gathered that the supremacy battle, which started on Friday, was said to have claimed the lives of about 20 young boys, including secondary school pupils.

Speaking on the development on the condition of anonymity, a resident of Sagamu lamented that the town had been on edge since Friday as people go about in fear, so as not to be victims of stray bullets from the cultists.

The source listed Agbowa behind Ewusi Palace, Makun, Ijagba, Ajaka, Isale Oko and Sabo as centre of the mindless killings in the ancient town.

The source said, “those boys have started killing themselves since Friday. As we speak, they must have killed about 20 people but many of these victims were innocent.For instance, three secondary schools students who had gone to cut their hairs on Sunday in preparation for the school resumption today, Monday were gunned down around Sabo.

“The target was actually the owner of the barbing saloon, but when he wasn’t found there, the cultists decided to kill those that were found in the shop. About four people were also killed on Ode Lemo road under the same circumstances. The target of the cultists was also not around when they came calling in the middle of the night, but they killed the four people they met in his room. It is terrible and no one can really say this is why they are fighting.

“Everyone is tired of this unnecessary and useless bloodshed and that is why we desire that when these boys are caught, they should not allow them to be back to town after three months. The law should be more hard on them and it is about time the Sagamu community with the support of the government take more decisive actions over these criminals.

“It’s a menace that is giving Sagamu a bad name. One thing I have also realised is that we now have so much of drugs in the town. You will always see these boys in different joints and corners with drugs, I think government should look towards that direction too because once you have taken drugs you can do whatever you like”.

Reacting to the cult killings in Sagamu on his X handle, the Nigeria Police Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi,
said the situation goes beyond the deployment of an anti-cultism squad only, stressing that all hands must be on deck.

He said, “Sagamu case goes beyond the mere anti cultism squad. The elders know how to handle them. The politicians know what to do. I was in their midst in Sagamu between 2006 and 2008. But no single cult clash before I left in 2008. I worked then with the late Akarigbo, Oba Michael Sonariwo and others”.

The Force PRO added that the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abiodun Alamutu, should look inward and take action on the report by some residents that the cultists are well known to security agents.

“I will engage the CP on this. Whoever is dealing with cultists and criminals must not compromise. That person must stand firm, and operate against all odds.”

Adejobi added, “Most of those who cause this wahala (problem) in Sagamu are not even Sagamites. At times, they come from Ijebu Ode or Ago Iwoye to strike and move. In some cases, they come as far as Edo State. It’s a problem that the whole system must tackle, not only the security forces. It requires multi-track diplomacy.

“We will discuss this with the CP and take the necessary steps. In Sagamu, almost every young one is a cultist. Okada riders, artisans, etc. are into cultism even more than students, and I think the whole town and Remoland, in general, should take action on it.

“I think the community should rise up to it. They should have an urgent meeting with the heads of all the quarters in Sagamu with the police and vigilante group to address this matter. Sagamites know and understand what I am saying here. I worked in sagamu for almost 2 years.”

When contacted, the spokesperson of the Ogun State Police Command, SP Omolola Odutola said the number of those killed wasn’t up to 20, but failed to state the actual figures.

A detachment of police have already been deployed to the troubled spots.

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