Tony Osauzo, Benin
Renewed cult war between suspected rival cult members of Eiye and Black Axe has reportedly claimed about 11 lives between Sunday and Tuesday evening in different parts of Benin, Edo State capital.
Three of the killings were said to have been carried out at Isibor Junction, adjacent St. Saviour Road near Third Junction, Popular Street on Murtala Muhammed Way and Idaho Street, off Sakponba Road, on Tuesday.
One of the victims, simply identified as Ogbe, is said to be the first son of his father who got paralysed in his two legs shortly after giving out his daughter in marriage and is currently receiving medical attention in hospital.
Apparently alarmed by the killings, Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Muhammed, was said to have personally led a team of policemen to the area to bring calm to and restore order, yesterday.
Consequently, there was free flow of traffic on the frequently congested Sakponba Road by Third Junction yesterday morning as many of the drivers and their conductors stayed off the road in a bid to evade arrests, as some of them were suspected to be members of the rival cult groups.
A taxi driver, who spoke to Daily Sun, lamented the recurrent cult clashes, describing the Tuesday’s night clash in particular as war-like.
“As early as 7pm, we had locked our doors. The whole area was deserted and the police tried in engaging the cultists who were shooting ceaselessly,” the driver who did not want his name in print, said, even as he contemplated relocating from the Third East Circular area.
But, Muhammed said no one was killed in the cult clash.
Meanwhile, an anti-cultism group, Legend Foundation, has called on the state government and security agencies to up their fight against crime in the state.
Director General of the Foundation, Kadiri Christopher, who made the call, also enjoined parents and guardians to guide their wards against cultism and other vices.