Unease in Benin as several persons killed in renewed cult clash

THERE is presently unease in the Edo State capital of Benin as several young persons have been reportedly gunned down in a fresh outbreak of hostilities between different feuding secret cult groups in the last 48 hours.

Only last Monday, Mr Okunkpolor Osatohamwen Von, the husband of a journalist in a local tabloid was murdered in cold blood at a popular hotel in the Upper Sakponba neighbourhood by suspected cultists.

In one of the attacks, a man who simply goes by the name Africa was said to have been shot dead Tuesday morning at a bar located at Uyiosa Junction, Upper Sakponba.

A source explained that the gun-toting assailants dragged him out of the bar and shot him several times only to gruesomely machete him when they found out that bullets could not penetrate him.

The lifeless body of the victim was dumped inside a police van which took the remains to the Benin Specialist Hospital on Sapele Road.

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Also, two other corpses were reportedly taken by the police to the same hospital mortuary at midday.

It was gathered that the two victims whose identities could not be ascertained, were also killed at Upper Sakponba area of the metropolis.

A young man whose name was given as John Terry was allegedly killed at Upper Uwa area, between 2nd and 3rd East Circular by unidentified assailants attacked and smashed his head with a stone.

When contacted on phone, the Edo state Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, said he was in Kano on election duty.

The Edo Police Spokesman, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, could also not, however, be reached for confirmation, as calls made to his mobile phone went unanswered.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Chapter, has condemned the unabated cult-related killings in Benin.

A statement signed by the Council Chairman and Secretary, Sir Roland Osakue and Titus Akhigbe respectively, described the development as “unwarranted killings of youths in Benin City, particularly Upper Sakponba axis.”

“The Union condemns the unending cult-related killings and we call on security agencies in Edo state to quickly nip it in the bud before it degenerates to a full-blown battle between the rival cult groups.

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