CityNews Nigeria reports that nine persons are feared killed in rival cult clashes in Osun, Benue and Anambra states.
In Osogbo, the Osun State capital, three persons were feared killed on Sunday when rival cults engaged in deadly clashes in some parts of.
The victims were identified as Sogo Owonikoko, aka Marley; Daniel and one Afeez, popularly known as Eja.
According to sources, the killings started around 8am at Alie junction near the Obate community, when gunmen believed to be members of Aye Confraternity stormed the area on motorcycles and shot dead Owonikoko.
The deceased was believed to be a member of the rival Eye Confraternity.
Around 8.30am on Kolawole Street, gunmen on motorcycles also shot dead Daniel, who was said to be visiting a friend.
The perpetrators reportedly fled after shooting the victim in the head.
Another suspected cultist, Afeez, was also allegedly hacked to death around Obalende area of the city by members of a cult.
Our correspondent observed during a visit to Kolawole and Alie junction areas that the streets were deserted as residents stayed in door for fear of reprisal by the rampaging groups.
A resident of Kolawole Street, who preferred anonymity, said that Daniel’s corpse was later evacuated by the police.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Osun State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, said one person was reported dead.
Opalola stated, “One Nofisat Owonikoko, a resident of Ita-Olokan, reported that her husband, Sogo, aka Marley, 44, suspected to be a member of the Eye Confraternity, was shot dead by members of the rival Aye Confraternity around 10am in the Obate area.
“Operatives deployed in the area evacuated the corpse of the deceased and deposited it in the morgue of the Osun State University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo. Investigation has commenced and we will continue to brief the public on our findings. But for now, normalcy has been restored.”
Three killed in rival groups clash in Benue.
Similarly, three persons were reportedly killed in a cult-related fight in Odoba Otukpa, Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State on Saturday.
Sources in the community said a quarrel broke out at a birthday party hosted by one of the youths in the Odoba community.
One of the sources, who did not want to be named, said a young man from the neighbouring Obu Otukpa, who attended the party, was hacked to death.
It was gathered that a rival group embarked on a reprisal, which led to the death of two other victims from the Odoba community.
According to the source, one of the victims from Odoba was expected to bury his father this week.
When contacted, the Chairman of the Ogbadibo Local Government Council, Prince Samuel Onu, confirmed the incident, but said that it was a cult-related issue and that the Divisional Police Officer, Otukpa, was aware of it.
He stated, “It had nothing to do with a communal crisis; it was a clash between rival groups.
“The incident happened at a party on Saturday night and we have directed that the corpses be buried immediately.”
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene, said she had yet to be briefed about the incident.
In a related development, a porter was reportedly killed on Sunday by a stray bullet allegedly fired by a soldier, who was said to be after some cultists.
The incident happened at the Eke Awka roundabout in the Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Two other persons were reportedly killed in the same area on Sunday in a war between two rival cults.
The war was said to have started on Saturday in Awka with indiscriminate gunshots.
A source said, “Since Saturday, there have been shootouts in different parts of the state capital.
“One person was gunned down in the Eke Awka Market area of the town, while the others were killed in other parts of the capital city, including Ifite village”.
“A porter was killed by a stray bullet said to be fired by a soldier, who was chasing the cultists.”
One of our correspondents sighted one of the victims in a pool of his own blood at the Eke Awka roundabout.
The Police Public Relation Officer in the state, Ikenga Tochukwu, confirmed the incident.
He said only two persons were killed, adding that the police were on top of the situation with a view to restoring normalcy in the area.