•Seven others open up on cult activities
By Victor Arjiromanus & Miracle Oweazim
The unending battle for supremacy between two rival cult groups: Aiye and Eiye, has claimed not less than three lives with several others injured at Epe, Oworoshoki and Ikeja areas of Lagos state, in two weeks.
In a bid to checkmate excesses of cultists in the state, the Lagos State Police Command has changed its operational strategy by taking the war to the dens of cultists , thereby arresting them either during meetings or initiation.
In two weeks, over 30 suspected cultists from different confraternities were arrested in Lagos.
One of the arrest, was effected by operatives of the Anti Cultism Unit, in which eight suspected cultists were arrested. The arrest of these suspects, was as a result of a rival cult clash between Eiye and Aiye groups, on July 21, 2019, in which two persons were killed, at Epe.
One of those arrested was 29- year old Ahmed Owolodun, who confessed to have killed a rival cult member in retaliation of his friend’s death. Owolodun who said he joined Eiye confraternity in 2012,
said, ‘’Eiye and Aiye cult groups have always been at war. But this time around, it was the Aiye guys who started the battle.
In the month of June, some Aiye boys came looking for me. They stormed our house, raided my mother’s shop and threatened to kill my child and other members of my family, if my mother didn’t disclose where I was to them. She told them she had no idea of my whereabouts.
‘’ Two days later, I heard that two of my friends, Mabe and small Foreigner who were also strong members of Eiye were killed. I also heard that I was their main target but because I wasn’t around that day, they killed my friends”
Mission to kill
“I became angry and declared war on them. On July 27, I took two of my members on an assignment to kill a member of Aiye who lives at Ikeja. His name was Lanre. He was among those who killed my friends: Mabe and small Foreigner. When we got to his house we shot him dead. But on our way back, the police accosted us. My other friends managed to escape but I was not lucky”, he said.
I am not a cultist- Teenager
Another suspected cultist arrested was 18-year-old Folajimi Ebun. But when approached, he denied being a cultist. Rather, he explained that he witnessed when some cultists killed their rival in Epe and exposed them, adding that those he exposed told the police during interrogation that he was a member.
He said: “I was with my girlfriend last Sunday, when we heard gun shots. Later, I saw about four boys walked passed us with a gun. I identified one of them, Odunto Abiona, who lived on the same street with me. He is a member Eiye confraternity. When news of the killing spread, I revealed the identity of one of the gun men to the bereaved family and even took them to Odunto’s house, from where we started beating him and thereafter handed him over to the police. To my surprise, Odunto told the Police that I was one of them and that prompted the Police to arrest me. On his part, Odunto, admitted being a member of Aiye confraternity but denied being at the scene of shooting.
He said; ‘’ I was not among those who went to kill Lanre, I went to a club party with a girl in my street and as I was coming back, a boy told me that there was a fight going on in my street. I was aware of the groups fighting, so I just went home. But the next day, while I was at home, I saw a group of people, including men of the Oodua People’s Congress(OPC) at my place accusing me of being among those who fought the previous day. I joined cultism in 2017 but I have never killed anyone.