The Lagos State Police Command in its zeal in eliminating cultism in the state, has nabbed 77 persons allegedly involved in cult clashes and the killing of a person on Chief Lasisi Baale Close, Oke Ira, in the Ajah area of Lagos.
It was gathered that 16 suspects were picked up on Thursday following the clash between cult groups, the Aiye and Eiye confraternities.
The Divisional Police Officer, Lamgbasa Police Station, Adaobi Okafor, on Friday, was said to have led police personnel to raid the area, which led to the arrest of 59 suspected hoodlums.
It was also gathered that two suspects were arrested on Saturday and detained at the Lamgbasa Police Station.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, who confirmed the development on Sunday, stated that the hoodlums were arrested with knives, cutlasses and guns.
According to him, the police trailed the source of the clashes to Ikorodu, from where some of the cultists had travelled on water to Ajah to cause the mayhem.
Elkana stated, “That particular group usually comes from Ikorodu through Ijede to operate in Ajah. On Thursday, 16 suspects were arrested. The personnel of the Lamgbasa Police Station also carried out an intensive raid in conjunction with neighbouring DPOs; they trailed the source where the hoodlums were coming from and arrested 59 of them on Friday.
“On Saturday, two more suspects were arrested. They were arrested with various weapons like guns, knives, cutlasses and more.”
Meanwhile, residents of Chief Lasisi Baale Close in the Oke Ira area of Ajah are living in fear over frequent cult clashes over control of the area by the Aiye and Eiye confraternities.
A resident, identified simply as Abimbola, told our correspondent on Saturday that there was a violent clash on Thursday in which members of the two rival cult groups were seriously injured.
She said Thursday’s clash was akin to warfare as the cultists blocked the Chief Lasisi Baale Close from the junction to the lagoon, before firing gunshots indiscriminately.
She said residents and visitors, who were caught unawares by the clash, were dispossessed of their phones, cash, trinkets, wristwatches and wedding rings.
Abimbola added that if not for the quick response of the police, the incident could have taken a dangerous dimension.
According to her, the violent clashes between the cult groups in the area are such that even the elders of the community are afraid to talk about them for fear of being attacked.
She noted that once it was 6pm, people would begin to close their shops, while markets in the area would hurriedly be shut down so as not to be looted by the hoodlums.
Abimbola stated, “We live in fear in this area because of the activities of the cult boys. They fight almost on a daily basis. Down there, they sell Indian hemp like sachet water. Whenever they are high after smoking hemp, they resort to making troubles.
“The firearms these cultists wield are superior to those of the police.
“Thursday’s clash was horrific. Nobody was killed from both sides because of the quick intervention of the police in restoring peace to the area.”
A motorcyclist, identified simply as Jide, said he was lucky to escape unhurt when the cultists engaged each other in a gun battle.
He stated that one of the two rival cult groups usually come from Ikorodu through Ijede to challenge the other group in Ajah over the control of the area.
He stated that, one cult member was killed in February.