Two persons were said to have died while several others injured in Ologbo, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State as a result of a clash between Itsekiri and Benin youths in oil-rich Ologbo community.
The entire community was deserted when journalists visited the community Friday as soldiers were sighted patrolling the place. Commercial activities were paralysed as hostilities resumed following reprisal attacks on some Itsekiri youths.
According to Vanguard, the busy streets in the community, including the market were empty and shops were locked up as the town was devoid of any human activities.
As at the time of the visit, many residents locked themselves indoors while others were said to have temporarily relocated to neighbouring villages.
But the leader of the Itsekiri in the area, Chief Johnson Atseleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri, blamed boys loyal to the Enogie (Duke) of Ologbo as the cause of the crisis.
Vanguard quoted him saying, “The cause of this latest clash is caused by the Enogie of Ologbo boys. Somebody was laying a foundation for a building and some boys led by Osazuwa went there to collect ‘deve’.
“The man said he has N30,000 but they refused and demanded N100,000. The man is my in-law. My son went there and offered additional N20,000 but They still refused. Before they knew what was happening, they shot my son and two others.
“One of the boys they shot is a big shot in eiye confraternity. It now escalated to a cult war. A lot of people are now in hospital. The police has intervened. We signed a peace accord. The Commissioner of Police told us to address our people. I came but the Enogie did not come.
“After the peace accord, we came and got report that they have destroyed some Itsekiri houses in town. They burnt their property. The major problem we are having is the Enogie boys. They used the palace as refuge. We begged the Enogie to ask the boys to leave the Palace.
“The fight in Enogie palace is cult fight. It is not our boys. Our boys going to work today were attacked. If he used his palace as place for cultists, the other rival group will come there to attack.”
Councillor representing Ologbo in Ikpoba-Okha, Felix Edogiawere, said steps have been taken to curb the crisis with the move to arresting key players in the crisis.
“It was one Osazuwa that went to collect development money. He went to where they were building a house and demanded money. That was how the fight started. Prince Johnson’s son, Giwa went to asked Osazuwa why he went to demand money.
“There was no attack at the Enogie Palace. They shot one boy. He is dead now. They went to attack another man and used a machete to inflict injuries on him.”
A visit to the palace of the Enogie showed a deserted palace with some youths sitting around the premises where some of them said they were not cultists but free borns of Ologbo community.
‘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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