Not fewer than seven persons have been feared killed at the weekend following cult clashes that occurred in Ajah, Eti-Osa Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos, residents have said.
They said four people were killed on Friday night and three others yesterday, claiming that cult wars were a daily occurrence in Ado, Badore and Oke-Ira areas of Ajah.
But the police denied any life was lost on Sunday night, noting that the gunshots residents talked about were fired by policemen to scare the gangsters who were planning to strike.
The Nation gathered that the police have arrested about 70 suspected cultists in the affected areas in the past three months, most of whom have been charged to court.
Already, 12 suspects identified as Juwon Abdulahi, 22, Ibrahim Ismaila, 32, Aliyu Abdulahi, 25, Kehinde Ajiwon, 29, Wale Yusuf, 34, Monsuru Muazu, 25, Umar Ali, 15, Jeremiah Ezekiel, 25, Isaac Ibrahim, 22, Haggai Sylvanus, 25, Emmanuel Samuel, 28, and Bernard Abosede, 40, have been arrested in connection to Sunday’s clash.
Our correspondent learnt on Monday that the cultists usually came out around 8 pm armed with cutlasses, guns and axes.
A resident who appealed to the state government and police authorities to put an end to the cult wars said it had claimed over 25 lives since it began months ago.
He said, “The cult boys come out daily once it’s 8 pm with guns, matchet and other weapons to fight. Four people were killed on Friday night. Two are innocent and two cultists.
“Yesterday (Sunday) they shot for about one hour on the road unchallenged.
This is a known fact on Oke-Ira, Ado. Despite that it happens daily, you will never see the police there,” he said.
At Addo Road, it was learnt that one person was murdered last Tuesday in front of the bar.
“Even at Badore Roundabout where police are stationed, the police disappear before 8 pm the time the cultists start their war.
“The Inspector-General of Police (IG) and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should come to our aid. We live in fear of being killed. People close their businesses around 6 pm out of fear.
“Any vehicle parked on the road will have their widescreen broken or damaged and anyone seen would be robbed.
“I am worried because I left Port Harcourt two years ago for this same reason. I sold all my properties and moved to Lagos but this same problem has continued for many months now.”
Contacted, police spokesman Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said 12 suspects were arrested on Sunday, insisting that no death was recorded.
He said: “On September 8, at about 2 pm, a team of policemen was deployed to Adoh village based on credible information received that cult members were gathering by the transformer in Baale Adoh’s house in a bid to disturb the peace of the community.
“On sighting the team of policemen these street urchins took to their heels while policemen shot in the air to disperse them.