Over 20 houses have been alleged burnt and more than 200 persons including children have been reported displaced in Kolokolo community, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State as result of crisis over stool of the community.
It was alleged that one Chief Johnson Asheleghe (the Iyastere of Warri kingdom) imposed himself as the paramount ruler and started intimidating his supposed enemy.
Addressing newsmen at the premises of a rights group known as Talakawa Parliament in Benin, members of the community accused Chief Asheleghe of using thugs to demolishing their houses, churches and businesses.
The Spokesperson of the community, Comrade Sunny Etchie, alleged that several attacks on the community by suspected hoodlums were orchestrated by persons believed to be loyal to the Iyasere of Warri kingdom.
“As I speak, over 200 of us including children no longer have any place to stay. Our children are been harassed and threatened.
“We have not been able to return to our houses since the crisis began few months ago. Our church was razed down by youths at a time and many of us have been held captives because we said we do not want to join them”, a pleasant farmer, Mrs Faith Asokhuara alleged.
Meanwhile, responding to the allegations raised by the people of the community in a telephone interview, Chief Aseleghe described the protesters as “busy bodies.”
He said the Olu of Warri, was already handling the crisis, alleging that the people protesting in Benin over the attack on them and their community are not from Kolokolo community.
“The matter of Kolokolo community is already before the Olu of Warri and as such I cannot say anything.” Aseleghe said.
He said allegations raised against him by spokesperson of the community were unfounded, malicious and scandalous, adding that Warri and Benin are brothers.
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‘Why I Joined Cult,’ Ghana Returnee Confesses In Edo
21-yearold Ghana returnee, Ikponmwonsa Ekhator, yesterday, confessed to newsmen that he joined the secret cult to avenge the death of his brother killed by a cult group in 2018.
He said this while being paraded by the Edo State Police Command alongside six other cult groups.
” I joined the cult in 2018 because of my brother that was killed by a cult group. I wanted to avenge his death”, he said.
The boy, who also said he is into yahoo, said he came back from Ghana to ply his trade in Benin with the view of being a master of his own, having been maltreated by his brother he stays with in Ghana.
When asked how many persons he had killed as a way of avenging the death of his brother, he said he has not killed anybody since he joined the cult even when his mission was to avenge the death of his brother.
“Since I joined the cult, I have not killed anybody though I joined to avenge my brother’s death,” he said.
Addressing newsmen, the Public Relations Officer of the command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the arrest was in line with the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro’s directive to rid the state of cultists.
“In line with the command aggressive manhunt policy to get the state rid of cultism and cultists, yesterday being Monday, 4 of July, 2022, the Command and Control, Intelligent Rapid Response Squad of Edo State Police Command, went out aggressively to hunt down the cultists in the state.
“You will recall, that some days ago, there has been fight and killings between the cultists in the state and that is why the Commissioner of Police Edo State, CP Abutu Yaro warned all the police operatives to go out for these criminals so that the citizens of Edo State will have their peace.
“On that day 4 of July, 2022, the operation was carried, along the axis of Ekehuan, in Benin City, these suspects were arrested and they are of the security cult societies called Eiye, Vikings black axe and all”, he said.
The police spokesperson, while listing their feats, said the command has made a total number of 30 suspects within the few days.
Couple Lose Four Children To Midnight Fire
A couple, Chukwudi Micheal and Bolani Micheal, have been inconsolable after losing four children to a fire that gutted their two-room apartment on Tapa Road, Oke-Oko, Isawo, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
It was gathered that the incident occurred around 1pm on Sunday, June 26, as one of the children, Jeremiah, 12, died on the spot.
The three other siblings: Prayer, 18; Trust in God, 14; and Ebube, 10, sustained severe burns and were rushed to a hospital, where they died a few days later.
The PUNCH correspondent, who spoke to the family on Monday, learnt that both husband and wife slept in a separate room with their eight-year-old surviving daughter, Esther.
The fire was said to have engulfed the room where the four boys slept.
The victims’ father, Chukwudi, told PUNCH Metro that he woke up to the scream of one of his children, who was calling for help.
He said, “After waking up, I alerted neighbours who helped me to break the windows of the boys because their door was locked. We were able to rescue three of the boys from the fire, but one had already been burnt to death. We rushed them immediately to a hospital with the help of a neighbour’s car, but we eventually lost them.”
The 46-year-old noted that men of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service only came in the morning when the fire had been put out by neighbours.
However, the Public Education Officer of the state fire service, Amodu Shakiru, stated that the fire was put out by firefighters, adding that five persons were rescued.
He said, “We rescued five persons and recovered the burnt body of a teenager.”
The couple noted that they were oblivious to how the fire started as anything that could start the fire had been put off.
It was observed that both husband and wife also sustained varying degrees of burns, which they were treating at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
A pastor with Covenant Light Church, Ikorodu, where the couple and their children worshipped, Ayoshanu Samuel, told PUNCH Metro that the victims had been buried.
He said the incident was reported at the Owutu Police Station.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the incident.
He said, “Yes, it happened. The incident is still under investigation.”
JUST IN: Bandits Attack President Buhari’s Advance Convoy In Katsina
Gunmen suspected to be bandits have attacked the convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari in Katsina State.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday.
He explained that a convoy of cars carrying the advance team of security guards, as well as protocol and media officers ahead of the President’s trip to Daura for Sallah came under attack near Dutsinma in Katsina.
The attackers, according to Shehu, opened fire on the convoy from ambush positions, but they were repelled by operatives of the military, police, and the Department of State Services (DSS) accompanying the convoy.
He stated that two persons in the convoy who sustained minor injuries were receiving treatment while all other persons made it safely to Daura.
The attack on the President’s advance team is the latest in the series of criminal activities by the outlaws who have continued to terrorise communities in the North West and parts of the north-central region of the country.
On Wednesday last week, bandits invaded a mining site at Ajata-Aboki in Gurmana Ward of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State where some persons were killed, and others abducted.
Thirteen policemen and civilians reportedly lost their lives to the incident while four Chinese nationals were among the victims said to have been kidnapped.
Amid reports that about 30 bodies of soldiers, who had responded to a distress call on the attack were recovered from the bush, the Nigerian Army authorities said “a number of personnel paid the supreme price in the fierce firefight that ensued”.
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