About 20 people, including three secondary students, have been feared dead in renewed clashes between the Eiye and Aiye confraternities in Sagamu, Ogun State, according to an eyewitness.
But the spokesperson of the Ogun State Police Command, SP Omolola Odutola, said the number of those killed was not up to 20 and did not give any figures.
A resident of Sagamu, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the town had been on edge since Friday, September 16, as people go about in fear, so as not to be victims of stray bullets.
The source listed Agbowa behind Ewusi Palace, Makun, Ijagba, Ajaka, Isale Oko and Sabo as centres of the mindless killings in the ancient town.
According to the source, three secondary school students who had gone to cut their hair on Sunday in preparation for the school resumption were gunned down around Sabo.
A spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Muyiwa Adejobi, said the situation goes beyond the mere anti-cultism squad, stressing that all hands must be on deck.
“Sagamu’s case goes beyond the mere anti-cultism squad. The elders know how to handle them. The politicians know what to do. I was in their midst in Sagamu between 2006 and 2008. But no single cult clash before I left in 2008,” Adejobi said.
Adejobi said the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, should investigate reports from residents claiming that security agents are well aware of the identities of the cultists.
“Most of those who cause this ‘wahala’ (problem) in Sagamu are not even Sagamites. At times, they come from Ijebu Ode or Ago Iwoye to strike and move,” Adejobi added.
“In some cases, they come as far as Edo State. It’s a problem that the whole system must tackle, not only the security forces. It requires multi-track diplomacy.”
Adejobi, however, urged the community to rise up to it, noting that they should have an urgent meeting with the heads of all the quarters in Sagamu with the police and vigilante group to address this matter.