Cult leaders meet to end killings in Benin

Residents of Benin City, Edo State capital, may now have cause to heave a sigh of relief as leaders of the warring cult groups met in the city on Monday morning and agreed to end the two-week-long killings.

The cult leaders, popularly known as Head of Homes, Tribune Online gathered, resolved to put a stop to the killings because the situation was becoming embarrassing even to them as leaders.

The decision for the truce came after over 38 young men were killed as two rival cult groups, Eiye and Aye, engaged in a bloody supremacy battle, with a third group, Vikings, joining the fray on Friday to compound the bloodletting.

It was gathered that the various leaders agreed to meet Sunday night, following the intervention by one of their patrons, whom, the leaders hold in high esteem, their cult lineage notwithstanding.

At the peace meeting held in one of the hotels in the highbrow Benin GRA, it was agreed that the warring cultists would sheath their swords, just as a robust compensation plan was mapped out to take care of the losses suffered by one of the leaders, whose attack led to the mindless killings in the first instance.

The peace accord, Tribune Online further gathered, was responsible for why in the last 24 hours, there has been no single case of cult-related killing in the state capital.

Part of the agreement, a source volunteered, was the resolve by the Heads of Homes to collectively deal with any recalcitrant member who might want to act contrary to the peace accord.

“The meeting started on Monday and it was concluded yesterday morning (Tuesday). All the heads of the various groups met because the killings have become embarrassing to all. But they all concluded the meeting yesterday morning and have agreed to stop the killings and that all heads should call their boys to order and anybody found in the fight and killing again, all the groups will jointly deal with that person,” the source which pleaded anonymity disclosed.

According to him, “they also agreed to compensate that person that had a clash that escalated into the bloody clash. If you notice, there has not been any killings in the past 24 hours and now that this meeting has been held, the killings will stop.”

But as the cult rivalry killings stopped, cases of robberies appeared to have taken over as residents of Lucky Way, Upper Mission extension and adjoining streets in Benin city were on Monday night, subjected to the agony of armed robberies all through the night.

The same was reported at Akhionbare area of Benin GRA where robbers operated with reckless abandon.

The robbers at Lucky Way, it was gathered, first raided most of the shops in the locality, before they embarked on a house-to-house raid at Imade Street where they reportedly snatched a car from its owner which they later used in other armed robbery operations.

Daring in their operations, the suspected armed robbers later advanced to Omoruyi Street, near Zico Gas plant on Upper Mission Extension and allegedly snatched a Mercedes Benz 180 car said to belong to one Engineer Joachin Isibor Osaruese.

They later drove towards Benin -Auchi road with all the snatched cars for the evening. Residents locked themselves up in their various houses with the fear that the armed robbers might return to the area.

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