From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Four people, including members of different cult groups, were killed at the Olunlade area, Ilorin, Kwara State, during the celebration of August 8 (8/8) cult activities in the state on Monday night.
Though the official figure given by the police indicated that only two deaths were recorded during the celebration in Ilorin, the people in the area, however, said that four people were killed by different cult groups in a reprisal.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state Command, SP Ajayi Okasanmi, while confirming the incident, said two people were reportedly killed during the incident.
Okasanmi said: “Only two people were killed in the 8/8 celebration by the cult groups and not four people as being peddled around by some people.
One person died on the spot of the crisis at Olunlade, while the other was reported to have died later in the hospital.
On the likely cause of the crisis, the PPRO said: “You know that yesterday (Monday) was August 8 and the different cult groups were celebrating the day in many places in the town; we don’t know what might have triggered the crisis among the cult members at Olunlade, but we gathered that the crisis might not be unconnected with rivalry among the cult groups.
“We gathered from an intelligence report that a crisis broke out and the rival cult members started shooting sporadically at each other.”
Okasanmi said that the situation has been brought under control, adding that calmness had returned to the area.
However, a worker in a government establishment in the area, who did not want his name in print, said that the crisis started on Monday night, at a local gin joint located near Bovas Petrol Station at Olunlade.
The worker said some members of a cult group trailed a man to the joint spot, adding that the target, who regularly patronises the joint, took to his heels to escape from the area, but they opened fire on him.
“The bullet fired by the cult members hit two people, including the son of the local gin seller. They continued to chase their target and later got him and shot him in the head,” he said.
Another person, who identified himself simply as Abdulmojeed, who also resides at Olunlade, said two people were killed by the cult members, while two others sustained bullet wounds.
“I don’t know if the son of the local gin seller who was shot survived, but the majority of us scampered for safety when they started shooting. God saved us that the bullet did not hit some of us when they started shooting.”
He said that the police came yesterday morning to restore normalcy in the area, adding that he was not sure if any arrest was made.