Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Fear has gripped residents of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over a series of suspected ritual murders allegedly by the notorious ‘Badoo Boys’ that have killed at least six persons in gruesome circumstances within the last month.
Daily Sun had on Tuesday exclusively broken the news on the operations of the serial ritual killers in three locations in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state. The first reported incident occurred at Abatakan, near Ojoo, about one month ago, where four persons were said to have been killed in the place.
The second and third reported cases happened at Fatokun in Moniya about two weeks ago and Olomowewe in Akingbile on Saturday, August 24, respectively, where one person each were reportedly killed in the two areas.
The three incidents followed the same pattern: the assailants were said to have struck their targets at around 10 a.m, operating like the ‘Badoo Boys’ that terrorised Ikorodu in Lagos recently.
The killers are reported to have used grinding stones to smash the heads of their victims, wiping their blood with handkerchiefs, and dumping the corpses without stealing anything from them.
A survivor of the suspected ritual killers is reported to be receiving treatment at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, and another, who had been treated at a different hospital, is said to have been discharged.
The Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi, has, however, cautioned the public about jumping to conclusions about the identity of the killers as ‘Badoo Boys’, assuring that the police would leave no stone unturned to apprehend the culprits, and adding that the police would confirm whether or not the suspects are indeed ‘Badoo Boys’.
He gave out the Control Room Numbers of the Oyo State Police Command for people to call when they are in distress or observe that their neighbours are in distress. The numbers are: 07055495413, 08081768614, saying the control room would respond to distress calls with immediate effect.
Already at Fatokun, J&P and Alade communities, many inhabitants have started retreating into their houses by 5:30 p.m., locking their doors, and only letting in persons whose identities they can confirm via phone call and other measures.
A resident of Alade, who preferred anonymity, told Daily Sun: “We need to take proactive measures to be safe. This is why we have been returning home early. As soon as we enter, we would lock the door and anybody that must enter must call those in the house to confirm the identity of the person that we would allow into our house. But to open the door, we would also hold some items that we can use to defend ourselves in case some people of questionable character are following the person that we know.
“If you pass through this place in the evening, let’s say around 5:30 p.m., majority of the traders around J&P, Alade and Fatokun, and operators of shops in the areas must have run early to their houses. Prevention is better than cure.
“The landlord will also meet on the development and agree on what we can do to complement the efforts of police in combating the menace.”
Police spokesman Fadeyi also enjoined residents of Ibadan that they “should try not to conceal information. If they have any, they should give us information as to how to unravel the mystery behind this act. We are looking closely into it. We have set machinery in motion. Undercover police officers are working on this issue in that axis. I will not want to say more than this. But, with time, we will be able to tell the public and brief the press as well on what has actually happened and what is happening, who and who these people are.
“We also want to advise that people in that axis should make sure that they are security conscious, by also being vigilant. When they are indoors, they should lock their doors behind them. When they are going out, they should watch movement of people or persons or somebody that is following them closely. They should make sure that they don’t walk alone, either early in the morning or late in the night, so that these evil persons will not just take advantage to carry out any dastardly act on them.
“They should tell us whatever they see and what they have observed in that axis so that we can be kept abreast of what is happening there,” the police spokesman said.