Tony Osauzo, Benin
No fewer than 15 persons have been reportedly killed in renewed rival cult war which was said to have escalated since Monday, February 17, across Edo State.
The blood-letting, it was gathered, was to mark one year anniversary of the killing of two rival leaders of Aye and Eiye confraternities.
It was learnt that eight persons were killed on Tuesday at Nomayo junction, Aifuwa and Three House area along Upper Sokpoba road in Ikpoba-Okha local government, with witnesses describing the scene as a ‘war theatre’.
According to one the witnesses, 30 persons hid inside his shop at Three House junction while the cult boys engaged themselves and were shooting sporadically.
It was also gathered that four persons were killed at Third East Circular Road junction, while others were said to have been killed in different parts of the state.
At the Third junction, policemen were said to have arrested suspected cultists but residents in the area accused the policemen of arresting traders and artisans.
Prior to the renewed rival cult, it was gathered that some suspects arrested in connection with last year’s cult killings, especially two leaders of Eiye and Aye confraternities were reportedly released last month.
Spokesman for Edo State police command, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said he was yet to be briefed on the cult killings.
He, however, said the police have a right to arrest people randomly within the vicinity of the crime, screen them and release those found innocent.