No fewer than five people including a policeman are feared killed in cult-related violence on Monday and yesterday.
Two traders were killed inside Ladipo International Market on Monday evening by suspected cultists. A policeman, a hoodlum and a pupil died during a clash at Idi-Oro. It was gathered that the policemen was stabbed to death
Among the deceased were one Akeem Mumuni and a pupil identified as Samuel. The Nation learnt that the police shot tear gas canisters into Ansar-Ud-Deen Secondary School.
Tuesday’s incident, which occurred around 3pm, was said to have left many persons injured.
It was gathered that yesterday’s battle was a fallout of Monday’s cult clash because policemen from Area D Division, Mushin and the Anti-Cultism unit were said to have embarked on a raid of cultists’ hideout.
But the raid went awry as hoodlums, said to have sighted the cops, engaged them in a battle.
The fight extended to Olateju. Residents locked their street gates.
A passer-by, who gave his name as Williams said the hoodlums shot sporadically and pelted the policemen with stones, bottles.
He said: “It was in the afternoon and people were going about their lawful duties when we suddenly started hearing sporadic gunshots. The gunshots lasted about 30 minutes. Everyone started running in different directions. Some people sustained injuries in the process. I heard two persons died but I do not how true that is.”
A trader, Chigozie said: “The cultists killed two people when they entered the market. Some said they wanted to rob them, others said the deceased belonged to a rival cult group. There are many cultists in Ladipo market. They most times, threaten and extort traders. The government needs to take serious action against them.
Emmanuel Obi said there were more than 10 different cult groups operating in the market. They move around the market with their guns, machetes, axes and charms freely without being challenged.
He said: “One of the victims, Ndubuisi, was going home when the cultist who had been monitoring him, accosted him and demanded he gave them the money he made for the day.
“He tried to explain to explain to them that he didn’t have money on him but one of the cultists brought out his gun and shot him in the head. Another one shot him on the leg and stomach. He died on the spot.
“The other victim, John, was axed to death at canal area of the market. He also refused to surrender his day’s sales to them. They also went to Toyota Bus Stop, where they robbed passers-by.
“I am appealing to the Police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal to look into this. These cultists were brought into the market by the various factions during the crisis that rocked Ladipo. They were equipped with arms and ammunition to fight perceived enemies of the faction that brought them.
“We are under siege. Now that election into various leadership positions in the market is approaching, killings have resumed. We are afraid of the situation. Government should come to our rescue.”
The Nation gathered that it took the intervention of riot policemen from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and other reinforcement for normalcy to be restored at Idi-Oro.
Contacted, police spokesman, Chike Oti, a Superintendent (SP) promised to contact the Area Command and revert back. But he did not as of press time.