The once peaceful Ogun State seems to be gradually becoming a ‘battlefield’ where cultists carry out their nefarious activities with no holds barred, DAILY POST reports.
Lately, cultists and other criminal gangs have dared the police and the state government by going after their victims in broad daylight, killing and maiming.
This is happening in spite of threats by the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, that he would deal decisively with cultists, demolish their houses and prosecute their parents.
“If I catch anybody engaging in cultism, the person, his parents and their house will be severely dealt with.
“Any house where a cultist is discovered will be demolished. Parents should warn their children because it is going to be tough.
“Our state is adjudged the most peaceful state in this country. Without peace, there cannot be meaningful socio-economic development. So, we will deal decisively with anyone that wants to disturb our peace in this state,” the governor seriously warned recently.
However, it appears the cultists in Ogun were not moved by the governor’s threat as cult clashes became a regular occurrence in the Gateway State, especially in Abeokuta, the State capital and in Ijebu-Ode.
Recently, Abiodun admitted that cultism is one of the security challenges facing the State. He, however, said he believed “that the cult activities have abated now because of the joint efforts of the Nigeria Police, the State Security Services and the Nigerian Army.”
But, the current reality in Ogun did not correlate with Abiodun’s claim that cult clashes were abating in the State. This is because the cultists, who usually carried out their deadly clashes at night before, have now been emboldened to the extent of chasing a victim on a motorcycle until he was hacked to death at Kuto around 2:30pm on Tuesday.
That same day, another young man simply identified as Alagbole was killed by the same set of people at Elite road, Abeokuta, in the full glare of traders and passers-by.
The cultists threw a section of Abeokuta into confusion by parading the metropolis on about three motorcycles with dangerous weapons without any regard for security agents.
The police in Ogun State has confirmed the worrisome incident that left many disturbed, adding that some of those behind the criminal acts have been arrested.
While confirming that one person was killed at Elite road, Oyeyemi said he was yet to be briefed about the Kuto incident.
But a reliable source confirmed to our correspondent that the okada rider hacked at Kuto had his body deposited at a mortuary in Abeokuta.
Oyeyemi said the killings could not be unconnected with the usual supremacy battle between the various cult groups.
Interestingly, when the killings were going on in Abeokuta yesterday, Gov Abiodun was in Lagos, revealing how the state under his watch had been tackling insecurity and making Ogun safe for investors.
Abiodun spoke at the 2021 Capacity Building Workshop for security agencies in Lagos and Ogun States, organised by the Nigeria Police Force, Zone II Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos.
According to him, local vigilantes, Community Development Associations and the Amotekun Corps had been mainstreamed into the state security architecture to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in policing Ogun.
He pointed out that the current insecurity in the country could be reduced to the barest minimum if more jobs were created and more youths empowered.
“Fighting insecurity is not just by arming the police and the military. There is a nexus between insecurity, poverty, education, drug abuse and all other socio-economics indices. As much as it is good to equip the police as we have done that in Ogun. It is important to ensure that we look at the various interventions on how to reduce unemployment,” he added.
Abiodun said state-based security agencies had been created to deal with peculiar security challenges because the national police would not be able to handle the enormous security issues in all parts of the country.
However, speaking on the security challenges in Ogun, a resident, Michael Ogunsiji, said: “Governor Dapo Abiodun declared open 2021 Capacity Building for Nigeria Police Force in Lagos with the theme: ‘Internal security operations in a democratic dispensation.’
“But, his home state, cultists are having field days carrying arms and other dangerous weapons freely without any disturbance; killing two people at Elite road and Kuto today in broad daylight. Yet, some ‘no brainers’ are saying Ogun is safe in the hand of the Governor.
“If this can happen in the state capital without anyone challenging these criminals and other security threats, what would be the faith of the rural settlers?
“Mr. Governor, the killings are getting too much. You need to wake up and do something.
“Residents of Sapon, Oke-Ijemo, Ake, Ijemo, Ago-Oko, Oke Lantoro, Leme, Mokola, Saje, Ajitadun, Arinlese, Oju Ogbara, Ijaiye, Ilugun cannot sleep with their two eyes closed.
“It has worsened to the extent that, residents and shop owners of these areas have to close their businesses as soon it is 7pm for fear of cultists attacks.”
Meanwhile, other residents of Abeokuta have called on Abiodun to make good his threat by waging serious way against cultism and other acts of criminality in the State, especially kidnapping which the governor himself has identified as another challenge.
One Dayo Akanbi narrated how cultists trouble places like Ijemo, Ilogbo, Ago Oko, Isale Ake, Ejigbo, Oke Lantoro and others, asking the police and government to take action.
He said, “There is no more security in Abeokuta again. On daily basis, cultists engage in clashes, fighting and killing one another. They are even using the opportunity to rob people in places around Abeokuta. The government should do something before everything gets out of hand.”
In his word, a commentator, Akorode Khameel, asked, “Where were the security operatives when these cultists were butchering an Okada rider without getting disturbed right in the act?”
Khameel spoke further that, “Talk of the spate of insecurity again in the state and the country in general. How did we get here? I know cultists have no regard for values but, what about laws? Now people will start living in perpetual fear. The government should please make Abeokuta and other areas in the state safe for us.”
David Adegbola suggested that Ogun government should set up a joint security patrol, involving the police and the military.
“I think there should be a joint task patrol in the state, especially Abeokuta metropolis. It is not until an election is coming before joint task force patrol should come up. Also, it should be made up of police, the Army, Navy and other security agencies.”(Dailypost)