From Tony Osauzo, Benin
New Year tragedy struck in the early hours of yesterday in Benin City following the killing by suspected cultists of a commercial bus driver along Siluko road near Oliha market.
It was gathered that the driver whose identity could not be ascertained, normally plies Sapele Road but was suspected to have been forcefully diverted to Siluko Road by his assailants.
Sources said the assailants entered the bus marked Edo ABD 257XA from Kings Square and diverted the driver to Siluko road at gunpoint and that immediately after they passed a popular former cinema viewing centre, they used a battle axe on the eye region of the victim and then shot him dead.
A resident close to the area while confirming the incident, said they were returning from the New Year cross over service and saw the commercial bus with full headlights on and some persons were dragging the steering with the driver.
He said they suddenly heard gunshots which scared them, adding that a moment after, some young boys came out of the bus and entered another vehicle and fled the scene and on a closer look, they saw a young man already dead with a very deep cut on his forehead and eyes.
“We were coming from the cross over night when we saw the bus with the headlights on and we were hearing people shouting and struggling inside the bus and then we heard a gunshot and everybody ran for safety and some boys rushed out of the bus and another car and sped off. It was another driver who saw the incident that said from the mark in the bus, it plies Sapele road”, he added.
From the pattern of the killing, it may not be unconnected to the renewed ongoing cult clash in Benin City which has claimed many lives.