Landlords, residents and business owners have been living in fear after suspected cultists allegedly shot a yet-to-be-identified person dead and raided several shops during supremacy clashes in Ijoko town, in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the clashes which started in the community on Tuesday, resurfaced on Friday, throwing residents in the community into a panic as they expressed fear over a possible reprisal following the death of the victim who was said to be a cultist.
It was learnt that after the victim was killed, policemen from the Sango Division who were detailed to restore normalcy in the community, evacuated the corpse to a mortuary.
A resident, who spoke anonymously to our correspondent on Sunday for security reasons, said most business centres in the area had been closing early after the incident.
The resident said, “I returned from work and saw that everywhere had been deserted. All the shops were locked and traders on the roadside were all gone. I had to trek down to our house because there was no motorcycle in sight.
“The person that was killed was a member of another cult group. It was the policemen from the Sango Police Station that came to pick up the corpse in the evening.
“This is the first time I am witnessing a cult clash in this area but some people said this was not the first time such killing would happen. Traders now close early since the incident happened.”
Another resident, who also did not want her name mentioned in print for fear of victimisation said multiple gunshots were heard during the clashes, adding that some people in the area were dispossessed of their valuables including phones and money.
The resident said, “This has been happening for about three to four days. They will enter barbers shops and dispossess their phones and belongings. There is a particular barber’s shop in Fadahunsi area where the owner was attacked and everything found on him was stolen including phones and other accessories.
“On Thursday, a young man who visited his mom was dispossessed of his iPhone 13 and about N120,000 was withdrawn from his bank account. Another man who had gone to buy bread for dinner around 10pm along the railway line was also attacked and they dispossessed him of his phone.
“There was an incident that happened early this year when a young man was shot dead at a shop at the junction. After the incident, they raided almost all the streets in Arepo and Fadahunsi area for days before they disappeared and then they started again after several weeks of hibernation.”
Speaking further on the cultist attack in the area, a resident who identified herself simply as Tosin, said cult-related attacks claimed the lives of no fewer than three persons in the community last year.
She said, “Some people were attacked in Arepo on Friday. Here in Fadahunsi, they looted several shops after the attack in Arepo and most shop owners now avoid staying out late in the night as they close as early as 6pm. The residents employed the services of a vigilance group when no fewer than three people were killed during a similar attack last year.”
Contacted on Sunday, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Omolola Odutola, said, “I am not aware of the incident you are asking about. But I will make my findings and revert to you as soon as possible.”
Similarly, suspected cultists allegedly shot two persons, Confidence Chalikobi and Elemechi Ogbogu, to death along the Ubeta Owube Road, in the Ahoada West Local Government Area of the Rivers State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Ogbogu and Chalikobi who deals in the business of selling building materials were on their way to the Owube community in Ahoada LGA when the suspects ambushed and killed them.
A resident, identified simply as Major Elleh, said the two incidents occurred in the Owube community, about one kilometre from his community, adding that Chalikobi, who lives in Port Harcourt, visited the Owube community to do some repairs on his father’s house that was affected by floods when he met his untimely death.
“His father’s house was brought down during the flood. He bought some building materials for the repair of the house and was shot by the hoodlums. The other person is Elemechi Ogbogu, the driver of a vehicle in the Owube community,” Elleh stated.
Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident.
She said, “Yes, we are aware. An investigation is ongoing to apprehend the suspects. For now, there is calm in the area.”