By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun on Tuesday met with the youth, community leaders and security agencies in Ijebu Ode axis of the state with a view to finding lasting solution to the incessant cult clashes in the state.
Ajogun met with the stakeholders at the Ijebu Area Command, Igbeba in Ijebu Ode, shortly after parading 11 suspected members of the Eiye Confraternity before journalists.
Ajogun disclosed that the “battle of supremacy” between rival cult groups had claimed no fewer than 25 lives recently.
He expressed his dismay at the incessant clashes in the town, saying the police command would come all out against the cultists everywhere in Ogun state.
The Commissioner said the command had worked to curtail the violent activities of both Eiye and Aiye groups by confronting them heavily, which led to the death of a member on the 29th of December, 2020.
He stated that no fewer that sixteen persons had been arrested in the last one month, while assorted arms and ammunition were recovered from them.
According to him, some of the suspects are currently undergoing prosecution for the offences of attempted murder, murder, robbery and cultism.
Ajogun, who said the successes recorded by Ogun State Police Command in restoring calm to Ijebu Ode area, was truncated on January 9, 2021 when one Michael Jayeola, a member of Black Axe, was shot dead and had his right arm severed at Ijebu Mushin market, declared that police would engage cultists “fire-for-fire” in the state.
“I therefore want to sound a note of warning to all the leaders, rank and file members, counsellors and procurers of cultists, others who are nursing the ambition of joining them, that the command is all out for you all. We are determined; we are battle ready. Henceforth, any person, cultist or not, found with weapon, or displaying weapon in the public, or using same to maim or kill in Ijebu Ode metropolis, Ijebu Ode environs, indeed in any part of the state, will be dealt with in the most decisive manner.
“It would be fire-for-fire, and whoever is arrested, will be made to face appropriate charges, including attempted murder, murder, armed robbery and kidnapping. This warning is for all the youths and parents in Ijebu Ode and its environs in particular and to the general public at large.
“All hands must be on deck to checkmate the disturbing activities of these hoodlums, which is portraying Ijebu Ode and its environs in bad light. No cult group will be permitted to derail the town from path of peace, progress and advancement”, the police boss stated.
While commending the state governor, Dapo Abiodun for providing logistics and support to the police in tackling the menace of cultism and other violent crimes, Ajogun called for the cooperation of members of the public by providing useful information to the police in fight against insecurity in the state.
The Commissioner later visited some cultists’ flashpoints in Ijebu Ode to sensitise youths and community leaders on the dangers of aiding and abetting cult groups.