Cult rivalry claimed 36 lives in December 2014

Published On: Fri, Jan 2nd, 2015

Investigations by journalists in Benin have revealed that no fewer than 36 cult rivalry-related deaths were recorded in the capital city of Edo state in the month of December, 2014 alone. Members of two rival cult groups, Eiye (Bird) and Aiye (Black Axe) confraternity, have been at war for several weeks in the state, resulting in the death of many of them.

Reliable and confidential information gathered from the mortuary department of the Benin City Specialist hospital, confirmed that 36 bodies were deposited there between 1 and 30 December 2014 following cult clashes.

An attendant at the mortuary who pleaded anonymity, faulted the state police command on the number of deaths recorded so far from the cult war.

The state police command spokesman, ASP Joseph Edogiawerie, had last week confirmed that six persons were killed at various points in the city, although he failed to link the deaths to the cult war.

But the mortuary attendant said, “From our document, we have received 36 corpses with bullet wounds since the beginning of December.

“I am surprised that the police are saying only six deaths have been recorded.‎ My brother, we are tired. As at the last count, it was 36. The last one that was brought to this morgue was so bad that his skull was opened into two parts, I could not eat when I got home,” the attendant said.

The lingering cult clash had worsened on the eve of Christmas, with the reported killing of four persons at different locations in Benin City.

However, there were conflicting reports on what led to the renewed rivalry between the cult groups, with one account alleging that supremacy battle among motor park touts led to the clash, while others hinged the bloodletting on the use of an opposing cult symbol by a member of a rival cult group at a birthday party.‎

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