Death toll rises to 12 in Edo cult clashes
• Two die as senatorial candidate escapes assassination in Kwara
The renewed cult violence in Benin City, Edo State capital, continued unabated yesterday with another three persons killed between Tuesday night and the early hours of Wednesday in rival cult clashes.
The scene of yesterday’s clash was the campus community of Ugbowo, which hosts the University of Benin (UNIBEN). When the dust settled after some exchange of gunshots, the bodies of two young men were picked from the road and deposited at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) mortuary.
Sources who pleaded for anonymity said the two young men were killed at separate locations in Oluku near UNIBEN by unidentified assailants suspected to be cultists.The state police command, which confirmed the killings in the state, said that 19-year-old Godspower Edobor, was killed at Omozeghiam street, off Okhoro road, in the early hours of Wednesday.
The state has been under siege by the warring cult groups since the weekend, unleashing terror across parts of the state with death toll rising to 12 in the ensuing violence.The ongoing cult war is between the Aye and Eiye confraternities. A security source said the renewed killings since last Saturday was linked to the money released by political parties for the now postponed presidential and national assembly elections
An undergraduate identified as John Terry was gruesomely murdered on Monday night during a rival cult clash along Upper Uwa Street off M.M. Way Benin City. It was gathered that he was engaged as a polling agent to one of the political parties in the February 16th botched elections.
According to eyewitnesses, Terry was beaten to death with rods and sticks by his assailants. Also, a father of four simply identified as Africa was on Tuesday morning hacked to death at Aifuwa Junction after shots fired at him did not penetrate his body.Police spokesman in the state, Chidi Nwabuzor, said several arrests have been made in connection with the killings though he did not specify the number of persons arrested or in police custody.
“The police are aware of the killings and adequate security measures have been mapped out to address it. Just yesterday, there was a joint security raid of criminal hideouts and black spots.”
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Kwara South yesterday escaped assassination attempt by some political thugs, as two supporters died instantly from the shooting. The APC in Kwara had on Tuesday alleged that two of its members were shot dead by political thugs allegedly from the PDP during a senatorial campaign tour in Ojoku, Oyun local government area of the state.
Oyun is the hometown of Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, who is also the PDP senatorial candidate of Kwara South in Saturday’s National Assembly election. The attackers were also said to have injured about eight APC members and vandalized about twenty vehicles belonging to the APC Kwara South senatorial candidate, Lola Ashiru during his campaign tour of Ojoku on Tuesday evening.However, the PDP claimed the APC thugs were the first to attack its members with no fewer than six persons sustaining bullet wounds while the shooting lasted.
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