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Lagos community raises the alarm over incessant cult clashes

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Last week, more than 5,000 members of Ekutu community in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State were thrown into chaos following attacks and counter attacks by members of various cult groups in the area, which left a young man, Gbenga Saka, dead.

Prior to the last incident, the community members said there had been series of cult wars, which had left the once peaceful and serene town of Ekutu a shadow of itself. The residents have, however, urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; DPO Elemoro Police State and key security agencies to come to their aid to stop further damages.

They also said the rate at which gang and cult war was ravaging most settlements in the Ibeju-Lekki surrounding required that the state government and police took decisive steps.

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Narrating their ordeal to The Guardian, the traditional ruler of Ekutu, Adeboyejo Adegunwa, said: “Last week, some groups of armed cultists invaded out village and started shooting sporadically and immediately they saw that people ran for cover and left their shops, the cultists started robbing and carted away valuables. In the course of operating they also chased one of the young men in our community to the other village where he was eventually killed.”

Adegunwa said all efforts to get the police at Elemoro division to arrive on time and contain the crisis failed. “It was after the incidence subsided that some police officers arrived.”

The traditional ruler claimed that had always been the disposition of the police, especially the Elemoro Police Post whenever they are called that cult members are fomenting trouble in Ekutu.

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The traditional ruler also lamented that the lawmaker representing Ibeju-Lekki in the state House of Assembly, Fatai Mojeed, is doing little to intervene in the crisis. Adegunwa said: “We have tried to also reach out to Mojeed whenever the criminals started their problem but he hardly pick his calls or responds to our ordeal.”

Although, Adegunwa said there was a time the community resolved on self-protection by confronting the criminals, “at the end of the day, it was our people that were arrested by police for defending ourselves. ”

When contacted, Mojeed said it was not true that he as the representative of the community in the Assembly has not done anything to address the situation.He said, “Recently, the Assembly directed that Governor Sanwo-Olu and the Commissioner of Police should take decisive actions against rising wave of cultism where I made serious contributions. It would also be recalled that the Assembly proposed stiffer penalty for those convicted of cultism.”

An officer in Elemoro Police Station, who did not want his name mentioned, also disagreed with the allegation that the station has been lackadaisical to urgent calls from the community as clamed by Adegunwa.

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