No fewer than three persons have been killed after two rival cult groups clashed in the Ijora Badia, Apapa-Iganmu area of Lagos State.
While one of the victims, identified simply as Jamiu, was hit with an axe, the two others, Kazeem Ayinde and another, who has yet-to-be identified, were killed as a reprisal for Jamiu’s death.
Sources told Nigerian Elites Metro that hoodlums from the White sand and Railway areas have always been at loggerheads with those from the Badia community in a supremacy fight.
The two sides were however said to have renewed hostilities on December 25, 2014, after a fight which left many dead on both sides. One of the groups reportedly vowed to even the fatalities.
Our correspondent, during a visit to the area, learnt that people in the community lived in fear of another imminent attack after the three men had been killed.
A resident, Adeyemo Ajayi, claimed that Jamiu’s friends from the Badia community avenged his death.
He said, “Jamiu was a neighbour and I knew him well. We used to chat, although I sincerely don’t know the job he did. They came to his house with an axe and hacked him to death.
“His family does not live around here, so it was policemen from Ijora Badia that came to take his corpse away.”
Ajayi said Jamiu’s friends were angry after they learnt he was killed and launched a reprisal on the Railway gang, leaving two dead.
Another resident, Dayo Olusoji, said it was possible that the casualty figure was more than three as the hoodlums sneaked into the houses of targets to kill them.
Olusoji said the cultists usually caught residents unawares, making it difficult to alert the police.
He said, “They don’t start their fight until around 8pm. Their fight took a bigger dimension recently when they had a gun battle with the police and in the course of the exchange, some of them were killed and the police also lost few of their men.
“Since that time, they have been counting scores and none of them is ready to lay down their weapons,” he said.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the police were able to apprehend some of the suspects on Tuesday.
A resident who begged anonymity, said the police from the Ijora Badia station, were handicapped in the situation and could sometimes be overwhelmed by the superior gun power of the hoodlums.
He pleaded that the authorities should reinforce policemen responding to emergencies in the area.
“Again, why this has not stopped is because whenever those people are arrested, the police would grant them bail and that seemed to have emboldened them to kill more people since their bail is guaranteed,” he added.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the incident.