Five killed in renewed cult clashes in Benin

Over five persons have been reportedly killed in a renewed rivalry between cult groups in Benin, the Edo State capital in the last three days.

Violent crimes become the order of the day in the state capital since the October 19 #EndSARS protest turned violent in the state where hoodlums infiltrated the ranks and file of the peaceful protesters and highjacked the protest, attacked and razed public facilities, with two jail breaks in Sapele Road and Oko, Airport Road Correctional Centres, where 1,993 inmates were released.

Tribune Online gathered that two cult groups, Eiye and Aye confraternities were at the eye of the storm in the latest bloodletting in the ancient city.

Further information indicated that some of the characters involved in the clashes were suspected to be some of the inmates who escaped from the two Correctional Centres.

The war of supremacy between the two rival cults happened in Upper Sokponba – an area that has become notorious for crime in recent time – Ogida and New Benin areas of Benin City.

At Upper Sokponba on Thursday morning, some armed men took over the area brandishing dangerous weapons and harassed motorists with impunity as the city is devoid of any security presence. The Edo Police Command had withdrawn its personnel following the burning of seven police stations during the #EndSARS protest.

At Idogbo, Headquarters of Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, two people were reportedly killed on Thursday at one filling station after the council secretariat and another person near Y-Junction on the same Sokponba Road, where two suspected armed robbers were necklaced two weeks ago.

Tribune Online further gathered that on Wednesday, two other persons, among whom was a father of four and the other believed to be one of the escapees from one of the prisons, were also killed near Ogida barracks, Egor Local Government Area of the Benin municipality.

The fifth victim of the cult clash was also hacked to death near Constain area in New Benin, Oredo Local Government Area.

Same Wednesday, some fierce-looking gunmen took over Siluko Road close to the burnt Ogida Barracks, brandishing guns and forced all those trekking to raise up their hands, while several motorists turned back.

A resident of Upper Sokponba Road, on Thursday, lamented what has been the lot of the people living in that axis of the state capital thus: “We have been living in fear in this area and other parts of the state capital. By 5 to 6 pm, people ran away into their houses because these boys openly brandished their weapons robbing and harassing people. This morning (Thursday) two people were killed which we later learnt belong to rival cult groups.”

Edo Police Command, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Chidi Nwabuzor, when contacted, simply said, “we are in a meeting.”

Nigerian Tribune recalled that all the police stations in Upper Sokponba Road: Ugbekun, Saint Saviour, Dumex Road and Idogbo were razed during the last violent protest. Same fate befell the police station at Ogida and Textile Mill Road.

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