At least three people were killed Monday in a deadly clash between rival cult groups in Elega and Ago-Odo areas of Abeoluta, Ogun State capital, police and residents said.
Fighting broke out between the Eiye and Aiye confraternities, throwing the communities into confusion as residents fled for their lives.
One of those killed, witnesses said, was the leader of the Eiye group, known as Ibrahim Alamutu, who got married last week.
Witnesses said Mr. Alamutu, a notorious gang member, was decapitated by Aiye members, who feared he had spiritual powers to ward off bullets.
Residents said the two groups clashed following a power tussle last week at the Moshood Abiola stadium, Abeokuta.
In response to Mr. Alamatu’s killing, members of the Eiye group stormed Ago-Odo around 7.30 am Monday. Two other members of the group were also killed in the fighting that followed.
Several buildings in the area were set alight by the rampaging cult members and at least 10 vehicles were vandalised, residents said.
As the fight spread to other areas, scores of police, personnel of State Security Service and men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, were led to the scene by the Abeokuta Area Commander, Presley Dodeh, and the Divisional Police Officer of Adatan, Ogunjobi Tolani, police said.
The operatives, who arrived the area in 14 Hilux vans supported by an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), restored order to the affected communities.
A resident, Lateef Koleoso, whose Nissan car was damaged in the attack, told PREMIUM TIMES that about “200 cult members” had earlier stormed the area in the late hours of Sunday damaging several properties.
He said early Monday, the attackers returned in about 20 vehicles and motorcycles shooting sporadically.
The Ogun State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi said over 30 suspects had been arrested in connection with the killings.
“Today around 0700Hrs the Command was aware of clash between some suspected groups of cultists, we moved to the place, when we got there, we found a lifeless body of one Alamutu, 32 year Old that was killed and found in his pool of blood,” he said.
“The corpse has been taken to the Mortuary, the Command immediately swung into action when the Commissioner gave a directive that every police outfit on Ogun State should be on its toe including the PRO’s office,” Mr. Adejobi added.
He said it was possible all those arrested were not cultists, saying they will be thoroughly screened.
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