Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
No fewer than 150 suspects have been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command in connection with the spate of alleged armed robbery incidents and cultism in some communities in Ifo and Ado-Odo/Ota local government areas of the state.
Areas in the local governments such as Owode, Ilepa, Ifo, Arigbajo, Itori, Dalemo, Ijoko, Joju, Sango, Ota Agbado-Ijaiye, have been besieged by suspected armed robbers and cultists.
The residents of the affected areas have also cried out to the state government to save them from the clutches of robbers and incessant cult clashes.
Parading the suspects on Sunday at Ifo Divisional Police Station, the Ogun Commissioner of Police Kenneth Ebrimson, after conducting journalists round the troubled areas, said that the 150 suspects were arrested in most of the affected areas.
Ebrimson, however, refuted the reports that armed robbers had taken over some parts of Ifo and Ado-Odo/Ota local government areas of the state.
The CP said there was no report of robbery made to the command by anyone in the troubled areas, declaring the incidents were cases of cult clashes among seven rival groups within the areas as a result of the killing of one of them.
Ebrimson said upon the information about the clashes, the police command swung into action and made some arrests.
He added that the command deployed men from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad; Anti-Cultism Unit, Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Special Forces and conventional police, who were drawn from the area commands in Ifo and Ota, to make arrests.
The CP explained further that his men smoked the suspected criminals out of their hideouts and recovered various weapons.
According to him, eight-locally made guns, 52 live cartridges, eight knives, 12 handsets, two pairs of scissors, large quantity of weeds, several machetes, one axe and saw, were recovered from the suspects.
“The unrest was caused by seven cult groups namely: Ilena Boys, Federal Boys, Lemon Boys, Base Boys, Sahara Boys, Gbese Boys and Marindoti Boys.
“The genesis of this was from some criminal gangs that engaged in supremacy battle in Ifo and spread to Ado-Odo/Ota local government area of the state.
“It started on April 4 and the command tactical operation arrested some hoodlums with ammunitions.
“I want to say that there was no single case of armed robbery; no case of kidnapping has been reported and nobody has been killed.
“The basic issue is cultism that emanated from the killing of one of them in Ifo and spread to Sango, Ijoko and Agbado,” the CP stated.