Six persons have been reportedly killed by suspected cultists in Ilorin, Kwara State; Benin, Edo State; and Abraka, Delta State, between Sunday and Monday.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the cult clashes in Ilorin were the aftermath of Sunday’s alleged attack on #EndSARS protesters in Ilorin.
It was gathered that the head of one of the deceased was severed and deposited on the General Post Office flyover bridge in the metropolis, while the second victim was killed at Sabo-Oke area of the town around 12.05pm on Monday.
The beheaded victim was identified as Yusuf, aka Lucifer, and was said to have been involved in Sunday’s attack on the protesters, while the second person, said to be in his early 20s and popularly known as Khalipha, was a resident of the Sabo-Oke area of Ilorin.
It was gathered that members of rival cults met during the #EndSARS protest and renewed their rivalry, despite being cautioned by the protesters not to disrupt their campaign.
Khalipha was allegedly mauled down around 12.05pm on Monday around Maraba/Alalubosa area of Ilorin.
A trader at the Maraba Market stated, “We started hearing gunshots around 12.05pm in Maraba and we all hurriedly closed our shops and fled.
“A few minutes later, we saw some group of boys wielding cutlasses, guns and other weapons leaving Maraba through the Pategi section of the garage and afterwards, we saw the lifeless body of a middle-aged boy with severe cutlass cuts on his head and body.
“The assailants left walking majestically through Maraba Road and towards the Murtala area of the metropolis unchallenged.”
As of the time of filing this report, the victim’s corpse was still lying in a pool of his own blood.
Speaking on the development, the state police command spokesperson, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the death of only one person and added that the command had commenced investigation into the incident.
Okasanmi also said the police had notified the Commissioner for Health about the evacuation of the corpse from the Post Office area.
He stated, “We got information this morning (Monday) that the head of one Yusuf, aka Lucifer, was on top of the post office flyover bridge and the deceased was confirmed by neighbours as a cultist.
“It was also alleged that he was killed by suspected cultists. The police are not aware of the death of any other person as regards the protest.”
In Benin, another round of violence broke out on Monday between members of the Eiye and Aye confraternities, leading to the death of one person on the Medical Stores Road, off the New Lagos Road.
A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the groups had a free-for-all.
According to him, the fight led to the killing of one of the members of the groups, whose body was abandoned on the road for hours, while the #EndSARS protest lasted.
“At the moment, all those cult boys, who fired and danced round the streets in anger over the killing of one of their members by a rival group, have left the road following government-imposed curfew,” the source stated.
What caused the fight among the two cults could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report as the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached.
Similarly, three persons, believed to be students of the Delta State University, were reportedly killed as rival cults clashed in the university community of Abraka in the Ethiope-East Local Government Area of the state.
PUNCH Metro gathered that members of the rival groups, who armed themselves with guns, cutlasses and axes used the weapons freely in the bloody clash on Sunday.
It was learnt that several persons sustained varying degrees of injury during the clash.
A community source told our correspondent on condition of anonymity that the clash was between the Eiye and Black Axe confraternities.
He said, “It was a battle for dominance as usual. It is unfortunate that in the 21st century, youths are still engaging in this act instead of venturing into gainful businesses that will improve their socio-economic well-being.
“In the process, three people died and over eight persons were injured. Residents are living in fear as they don’t know what will happen after.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, promised to get back to our correspondent with the details of the incident, but she had yet to do so as of the time of filling this report.
“I will get back to you when I get the details of the incident,” she stated.
But a police source in Abraka confirmed the incident, adding that the police were already on the ground to maintain peace and order in the community.
Police Arrest Six Cultists While Fighting over Gun Deal
Four Lagos-based suspected cultists and two others have been arrested by men of the Ogun State Police Command in Odogbolu.
The suspects were arrested while allegedly making arrangements to purchase a locally-made pistol for an operation.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement.
Oyeyemi said Oluwadamilare Aboyeji, Matthew Adebiyi, Jacob Solomon and Iliasu Jubril were based in Ikorodu, Lagos State, while Segun Olubanjo and Samuel Olaniyan were based in Odogbolu.
According to the PPRO, the suspects were arrested on November 27, 2020 in Odogbolu when the four Lagos-based alleged cultists came to meet Olubanjo and Olaniyan to foment trouble as a result of a gun transaction between the two groups.
Oyeyemi said, “Investigation revealed that the Ikorodu-based suspects contracted Samuel Olaniyan to purchase a locally-made pistol for them, and when the gun was delivered, they discovered that the pistol was not serviceable; hence they came with full force to deal with the Odogbolu-based cultists for betraying their trust.
“While the pandemonium was going on, a distress call was made to the Odogbolu Division, consequence upon which the DPO, SP Awoniyi Adekunle, quickly led his men to the scene, where the six suspects were apprehended.
“Recovered from them were one locally-made pistol and two live cartridges.”
The PPRO added that the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had directed that the suspects and exhibits be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation with a view to charging them.
Nigeria’s Problem is Not Restructuring, But Hunger, Poverty, Says Amaechi
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, says the problem of Nigeria is not restructuring but hunger and poverty, which have led to insecurity in the country.
Speaking on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics, Amaechi said he does not see anything wrong with calls for the restructuring of the country but insists that the Federal government is more concerned about tackling hunger and poverty.
“If to you, what is important is restructuring, I don’t see anything wrong with restructuring but I am saying it is not the most critical problem we have.
“The most critical problem we have is that hunger and poverty are breeding insecurity,” Amaechi said when asked his take on restructuring.
The former governor of Rivers State added that the President Muhammadu Buhari-administration is more concerned about reducing poverty in the country, and believes that creating jobs for the people will keep them away from crime.
“If you are able to create employment, you create security. If you like, hire as many men as you want to hire that are policemen, you would do nothing until you put food in the hands of people.
“When you do not create a legitimate economy, the people will create for themselves an illegitimate economy and be able to feed themselves.”
No More Drivers License without NIN, FRSC Tells Nigerians
Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said the corps will introduce the National Identity Number (NIN) information for vehicle registration by the first quarter of 2021.
Mr Oyeyemi revealed this when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Friday.
The corps marshall said the essence of the NIN was to enhance road safety through the use of technology.
The FRSC boss also said that from December, driver’s licence would no longer be issued without the NIN information.
“I must commend the government. With the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), now we have one national database, one identity. You cannot use double identity now and with the biometrics, you cannot be funny.
“You know before some people have about five different identities but now you are forced to pick one. Once you pick one with NIMC that is what you will be using because it is now going to be as from next month (December). It is going to be compulsory.
“Now if you want to renew your driver’s licence or you want to obtain a fresh driver licence, you must provide your NIN. NIN is the first thing and with that, no biometrics will be done again they will import it from NIMC.
“So I am talking about using technology now to enhance security so with this I think we make progress we are really on course.”
The FRSC boss, Mr Oyeyemi, explained that only the Vehicles Inspection Office (VIO) was authorised to test applicants before prescribed fees could be paid to the state government through their internal revenue service.
He added that the VIO would, in turn, refer applicants for capturing which would be transferred to the database of the country.
“Now a lot of things have been occurring, you cannot get a licence by proxy, anybody that does not go for the physical capture for the first issuance of a licence is not a genuine licence, it is fake.
“I am happy when I came on board, I came on board in 2014, the first thing we did was to establish a verification portal. Where the portal is now done, all those with fake licences disappeared, they now had to go and do a new one.
“A fake licence is N25,000 to N30,000, an original licence is N6,350 but I won’t blame them, it is the ‘bigmanism.’ People are not ready to follow the process and along the line too this NIN information for drivers licence the same thing will come on board before the end of the first quarter next year for vehicle registration.
“If you want to register your vehicle, it is going to be compulsory for you to provide your NIN. These are parts of the security checks. So once you provide your NIN, it makes the matter to be simpler,” the FRSC official said.
He urged the country to take a cue from China and other developed countries that made use of technology to fight crime.
He commended the security agencies for making use of their unrestricted access to the database in checking corrupt practices in the system.
“I must commend all of them from EFCC, NFIU, ICPC, the military intelligence unit of the Army, Navy, Air force and DSS. This is what they are now using, the paperwork is no more because they have access to the database and they are utilizing it effectively.
“The country is growing even though I need to let people know the efforts of Mr President, the country is developing as par 21st technology innovation and we must just catch up with best practices.
“The best practice is for you to have the database that you can use to fight crime,’’ he said.