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14 Dec 2018

Four feared killed in Lagos cult clash, families demand justice

The families of Ayomide Elusakin and Ola Ogunlade, who were allegedly killed during a rival cult clash in the Igbogbo-Bayeku Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, have called for an investigation into the events that led to their sons’ death.

The Elusakin and Ogunlade families said their sons were victims of the ongoing cult clashes that had sent shivers down the spines of residents of the Bayeku community.

During a visit to Bayeku on Wednesday, Punch Metro gathered from the residents that an indigene of the community, identified only as Alao, inaugurated his hotel on Friday, December 7, 2018, the same day a traditional festival, known as ‘Igunuko’, was being held, adding that the cultists, who had invaded the community, took advantage of both ceremonies to settle scores.
The Vice Chairman, Lagos State Taxi Drivers Association, Bayeku Division, Olasunkanmi Adebayo, who said the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, and his chiefs had visited Bayeku to commiserate with the indigenes and residents, added that four people had been killed due to the cult clash that started around 2am on Saturday, December 8, 2018.

Adebayo stated, “A festival was ongoing in Bayeku, but an indigene, named Alao, who built a hotel, had invited musicians for the inauguration that same day. So, a lot happened, but I left for home early, only to receive calls around 2am on Saturday that cultists had invaded Bayeku to cause trouble in the community. I saw three corpses on the floor when I got out in the morning and people said that Eiye and Aiye cult members had a clash in the early hours of Saturday.

“Due to the unrest caused by these cultists, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, and his chiefs visited Bayeku and the residents took them to Alao’s place, where the fight started, before it spread to the streets. The community had yet to recover from the shock of the attack when we learnt that an indigene, Ola Ogunlade, a brother-in-law to Alao, was killed in the Selewu area of Bayeku. We are living in fear; we want security because Bayeku is no longer safe due to these attacks.”

The Market Women Leader of Igbogbo-Bayeku, Sidikatu Kolawole, while mourning the death of her grandson, Ola, charged the government to intervene to restore normalcy to the community.

Ola’s wife, Blessing Ogunlade, said her husband had gone to collect money from one of his clients when he was waylaid and killed.

The 26-year-old mother of two said, “It was not up to 10 minutes that the motorcyclist, who came to pick my husband, rushed back to inform me that some people blocked them on the way and chased after my husband. When I called his number, I was told to check him at Selewu. I was not allowed to see him when I got there.

“I initially thought that he had sustained injuries, but it was later I got to know that he died. I want justice over his death, because he was completely innocent.”

Ayomide’s father, Bisi Elusakin, said his son and his friends, Kehinde Ajiyan and Seyi Fadare, who are instrumentalists, had left home to attend a vigil at the El-Morijah Celestial Church of Christ, and had branched to play for a live band at Bayeku.

He added that his 17-year-old son, who was the only one among the three friends that did not return home, was found dead the following day.

Ayomide’s mother, Kemi, while grieving the loss of her son, said the owner of the place where they went to play should be held accountable for organising a party without securing the environment.

In a telephone conversation with our correspondent, Ayomide’s friend, Kehinde, said, “A fuji musician got to the stage and we played for him. Suddenly, we heard that cultists were fighting, so the whole place was thrown into confusion and everyone ran away.”

Oba Kasali said his visit to Bayeku was to sympathise with the residents and to reassure them that his palace had collaborated with security agents to secure the community.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, who confirmed the incident, said the police had arrested six hoodlums in connection with the killings, adding that they were assisting the police in their investigation.

Oti said, “The residents of Bayeku were having their festival, known as ´Igunuko’. But midway into that traditional festival around 1.30am, a group of hoodlums came from nowhere and fired into the crowd. Our men, who were in a pin-down point close to the scene, heard the gunshot and moved toward the location and were able to bring the situation under control. “

“We have arrested six of those hoodlums and handed them over to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for investigation.

 “However, only two people were wounded and taken to the hospital, where they were confirmed dead. The suspects are helping the police in their investigation.”

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