Dealing with cultism in Ilasamaja community
The rate of cultism among youths in Ilasamaja, a community in Lagos has increased drastically lately, as some parents are allegedly aiding their children in this nefarious act. The one question that is on most residents’ lips is “why are they joining even though they know their life span will be cut short?
Most of them often end up being shot dead or butchered, while those that escaped or managed to live are left with liver injury, either blinded or crippled, yet they never learn their lessons, as more are still joining.
On Sunday, December 15, 2019 hell was let loose when a cult gang later discovered as Supreme Eiye Confraternity (Airlords) killed two members of their rival cult group, the Aiye Confraternity (Black Axe).
The victims, Qudus is popularly known as Deco, and the other name unknown was hacked to death at the same spot on Atinuke Street Ilasamaja around 7-8am. Eyewitnesses said that earlier that morning Deco was seen dressed in white top, sneakers and jean pants with earpiece plugged in his ears listening to song and dancing having fun. He was seen going up and down the street and hailing people. Later he and one of his friends went inside Atinuke Street and that was where they were attacked.
The other victim, whose name remained unknown was said to still be breathing before they took him to the hospital but gave up immediately they got to the hospital. Deco was macheted, his head smashed, and his left-hand middle finger, which is believed to be where his power lies was cut off. The assailants took his shoes and put it inside a polythene bag and they left.
During the chaos, a woman was said to also die in the process. She was said to be running for her life when she got hit by a car and die on the spot.
The Guardian in a bid to unravel the reason behind the rising membership of cultism in Ilasamaja visited the area, where residents said the reason why more youths are joining these cult groups is that they want to feel among, have backups either when they are cheated or when they look for trouble.
According to them, some joined because they want revenge, not knowing what then end portend. They added that while some are lured to join, others are threatened to become members. And not only do they indulge in avenging their members’ cause, but they are also hired to eliminate people.
“Truth be told the cultism issue is not as pervasive as it is today. Although, there were issues of armed robbery, gambling, hooliganism and rape,” a resident who pleaded anonymity told The Guardian.
For another anonymous resident, the issue of cultism in the community can be traced back to 2004. Though it was just on the low key then, it all started with some of those that went to higher institutions, who rather than concentrating on their studies, they joined one cult group or the other, and when they come home for holiday or break from school they introduced their friends into their cult group.
“Bit by bits it started with different factions, some were just ‘committee of friends’ that turned cultists. Most of them were graduates, dropouts from different higher institutions, while some are either secondary school leavers or dropouts,” the resident said.
According to him, there are rules binding to each faction, such as ‘brother kill brothers’. “If you can kill someone you called a brother then what is the essence,” he stated.
He noted that in recent times, there have been a lot of fighting and killings among the factions, which is disturbing the peace community, stressing that most people run helter-skelter whilst avoiding being wounded or killed in the process of the chaos. Though some were actually killed and some others wounded in the process.
The Guardian investigation learned that sometimes the cause of the fight between the cult factions could only be because of snatching each other girlfriend and this often results in the killing one another. However, the major cause of cause chaos is the fight for supremacy or rival killings, and ‘scores counting’ — how many people a rival faction has killed.
The popular factions mostly causing unrest in the community are the Eiye Confraternity (Sky Lords), Bucanneers or Alora (Sea Lords) and Black Axe popularly known as Aiye or Axe men. Though there are also Red Cangos, Blue Angels amongst others.
“Though the Ilasamaja Police Division is trying their best on stamping out cultism in the community. They have apprehended most of them, charged them to court, and subsequently sent them to jail, but some people in the community still went to bail them and they come back terrorizing the community,” a middle-aged male resident told The Guardian.
According to him the initiation party of some the cult groups usually come up on July 7 of every year, which is also known as 7/7 and August 8 of every year in other ways is referred to as 8/8. On these dates, they initiate new members and celebrate their dead members, which they called their dead ‘Heroes’ and on the other hand kill some of their rival cults on the same day as revenge for their so-called ‘past heroes’.
The Guardian checks revealed that recently, a cultist named Deko, the leader (number one) of the Aiye Confraternity in the area met his waterloo when he went to assassinate another rival gang member at red sand in Okota/Isolo area, but the table turned on him, as he was shot and macheted in the process.
He was rushed to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, where he was treated for more than two months and he is now back in the community but with just one hand functioning.
“After that, the number one of the Eiye confraternity known as Kanmi was also attacked last two months around Adijatu/Tanimola junction by some guys later discovered to be members of a rival gang, the Aiye confraternity. He was hacked to death while his face was badly smashed. His body was later picked up by the police and was taken to the station.
“But recently some people discovered he is still alive and he has been threatening hell on those who attacked him if he comes back. Though the information has not been confirmed because the eyewitnesses of the scene said he was dead because they don’t think he can survive with how he was a machete. Some even said he died immediately at the scene,” a female resident who does not want her name in print told The Guardian.
She continues: “Only God can save Ilasamaja from these cult groups causing mishaps in the community. During the yuletide, everybody was in fear because nobody knew what they had in stock because they are always attacking each other at carnivals or clubs, and some of them left the community before have returned. May God save us all.”
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