Four suspected cult members were brutally killed in Ilorin, Kwara State, during a gun-battle between rival members of Aiye and Eiye confraternities. A drink seller whose shop the shooting took place, however, escaped death by the whiskers, as she was hit by stray bullets in the lower abdomen.
According to TheGuardian, her distress calls in the pool of her blood attracted sympathisers who took her to a nearby private hospital who rejected her before she was then taken to the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), where she is said to be responding to treatment.
The residents had to lock their doors and lie low on the floor to escape being hit by the flying gunshots of the cult groups while the shooting lasted. The incident took place at Agbabiaka end of upper Gaa Akanbi in Ilorin at a Daily Need shop where the suspected cultists were drinking.
It was gathered that an earlier killing of a member of Eiye also in Gaa Akanbi area last month was said to have sparked off a retaliatory manhunt for Aiye members. The assailants reportedly traced Aiye members to the drinking joint and immediately opened gunfire on one of them.
But unknown to the assailants, members of the other group were also armed as they promptly pulled out their guns and fired back at their assailants, killing two of them instantly. An Eiye who was giving back up to his members was seen retracing his steps away from the scene when he was also shot from a distance and died instantly.
A resident made a distress call to the police who arrived the scene after the gun-battle had ended and took the body of the four suspected cultists to University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. “They took away the bodies of the four young men soaked with blood,” he said.
When contacted, spokesman of the Kwara State police command, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the incident. “We are still investigating and yet to make any arrest,” he noted
In a related development, at least two persons have been killed in deadly clashes between rival cult groups in Ezzamgbo, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. While one person, Anselm Omah, was killed on Tuesday evening, a second victim, whose name was simply given as Paul was gunned down Wednesday night. The killing took place at a beer joint around the popular Ezzangbo junction.
In the aftermath of the shooting, at least eight persons have been arrested in connection with the killings. Confirming the incident, chairman of the council, Clement Odah, said the killing of Omah is regrettable as the area had been relatively peaceful for a while. Odah, who briefed journalists on Wednesday evening, charged security agents to arrest and prosecute all those involved in the murder.
“When we came in, we were confronted by two kinds of insecurity. One is the external insecurity, that was the war between Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area and Agila in Benue State. That one, to the glory of God, has been settled by the coordinated efforts of the governor of Ebonyi, David Umahi, through the inter-boundary committee headed by the deputy governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe.
“For more than two years now, we have not had any other problem from that axis and we have been enjoying peace. Second, is internal insecurity from some misguided youth who were deceived over time to believe there is something good in belonging to illegal societies.”
Meanwhile, the chairman, Lagos Island East LCDA, Comrade Kamal Bashua, has urged youth to shun cultism and drug-related vices in order to live a fulfilled life. Speaking at the 2018 National Campaign Against Cultism and Drug Abuse among secondary school students, he urged the students to speak out against any form of intimidation by criminal elements, adding that anything done in secrecy would end up endangering the lives of the students.
The council boss counselled the students to speak out especially to their parents and security agents and not allow themselves to be lured into any clandestine activity.
The guest lecturer, Dr. Olufemi Michael of the department of political science, University of Ibadan, highlighted some of the reasons students fall into the trap of cultism, which is ignorance and gullibility.
He said students make themselves prone to invitation to cultism by their irresponsible attitudes. He described such attitude as indecent dressing, truancy and advised them to move with responsible friends that can influence them positively.
Also, the Head of Administration, Mrs. Iyabo Giwa, warned students to be wary of drugs and stimulants that can damage their lives and turn them to psychiatric case.
Clubs like Quiz Club, Science Club and Literacy and Debating Societies and recommended to keep the students busy and productively engaged.
The chairman used the occasion to address the press on the Adult Literacy Centres functioning in the Local Council Development Area. Comrade Bashua said opportunities are made available for adults to add value to themselves by shedding ignorance through acquiring knowledge to read and write.
The council boss said the local government have five functional centres, meeting thrice in a week in the evenings to encourage adults in the local government to learn how to read and write.