Christopher Oji and Remi Adefulu
The annual Oro cultural festival held in Ikorodu, Lagos State, has turned bloody, as suspected members of Aiye and Eiye cult gangs were embroiled in a clash.
Five members of the secret cult groups died in the fight, while several others sustained bullet and machete wounds.
The gangs were said to have engaged themselves with guns, cutlasses, bottles, charms and other weapons.
A witness, Tope Ogun, told Daily Sun that members of the Aiye took advantage of the Oro festival to attack members of the Eiye rival gang.
He said Aiye members caused the first attack, which took place in the Imota area of Ikorodu, while members of the Eiye went on a reprisal in the Owutu area.
Ogun said the first death was recorded at Imota, when members of Aiye hacked down Taofeek, a suspected Eiye member.
It was gathered that the killing of Taofeek, who was on his was way to Agric Bus Stop, sparked off the reprisal in Imota.
Another resident, Kamoru Tayelolu, told our correspondent that the cult war started on Saturday night but spilled over to Sunday, adding that, by the time the police restored normalcy, no fewer than five people had been killed.
A police officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the the cultists’ war for supremacy had been on for two weeks, adding that they cashed in on the festival to unleash terror on themselves and the community.
“Members of the Aiye group seized the opportunity of the annual Oro festival to strike, with a retaliation by Eiye group who staged a reprisal.
“The attack and counter-attack led to heightened fears in Imota and its environs, as many scampered for safety.
“Imota and adjoining communities, including Adamo, Araromi, Isiu, Emuren, and Igode, have been under siege in the last three years. If not for the intervention of the police, the battle would have consumed many more lives,” he said.