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Ogun Governor Abiodun Orders Crackdown on Cultists in Sagamu As Cult Clash Leaves About 20 People Dead

He said a new security approach in collaboration with critical stakeholders will be implemented.

Ogun State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, has directed security agencies in the state to rid Sagamu and its environs of the menace of cultists and cult-related activities in the state.

This was just as no fewer than 20 young men were feared dead in Sagamu, headquarters of Sagamu Local Government area of Ogun State, during clashes between the two rival cult groups, who engaged each other in supremacy battle in the town.

The directive from the governor came as the renewed clashes among rival cult gangs in the town raised tension and panic among residents of the town.

But the security agents are already on ground in the troubled town to restore normalcy.

Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, regretted the avoidable loss of innocent lives and wanton destruction of properties by the hoodlums.

According to him, the police and sister security agencies have been given directives to deal ruthlessly and decisively with those disturbing the peace of the town.

Reiterating the state government’s zero tolerance to acts of brigandage and lawlessness, Abiodun warned that those responsible for this current crisis would find themselves to blame.

He said: ” As a responsible and responsive government, we are very sad with the resurgence of activities of criminal elements under different outlawed groups, raising unnecessary tension in the sleepy town of Sagamu and its environs.

“Let me categorically state that we are more than determined to put an end quickly to the nefarious activities of these hoodlums and enemies of our people; who are hell bent to truncate the peace of our land.

“Let these urchins be rest assured that the state will be too hot for them to operate as we are reevaluating the security architecture for greater surveillance and tactical operation.”

The governor noted that the new security approach would be implemented in collaboration with the traditional institution, community and religious leaders, youth groups as well as other critical stakeholders.

Abiodun, therefore, appealed to the people to provide adequate and useful information to security agents for prompt response to prevent future occurrences.

 It was gathered that among the casualties of the clash, which started on Friday, were secondary  schools students

Speaking on the development on the condition of anonymity, a resident of Sagamu lamented that the town had been on edge since Friday, as people go about in fear, so as not to be victims of stray bullets from the cultists.

The source listed Agbowa behind Ewusi Palace, Makun, Ijagba, Ajaka, Isale Oko and Sabo as centres of the mindless killings in the ancient town.

The source said, “those boys have started killing themselves since Friday. As we speak, they must have killed about 20 people but many of these victims were innocent.

“For instance, three secondary schools’ students who had gone to cut their hairs on Sunday in preparation for the school resumption today, Monday were gunned down around Sabo.

“The target was actually the owner of the barbing saloon, but when he wasn’t found there, the cultists decided to kill those that were found in the shop. “About four people were also killed on Ode Lemo road under the same circumstances. The target of the cultists was also not around when they came calling in the middle of the night, but they killed the four people they met in his room. It is terrible and no one can really say this is why they are fighting.”

Reacting to the killings in Sagamu on his X handle, the Nigeria Police Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the situation goes beyond the deployment of an anti-cultism squad only, stressing that all hands must be on the deck.

He wrote, “Sagamu case goes beyond the mere anti-cultism squad. The elders know how to handle them. The politicians know what to do. I was in their midst in Sagamu between 2006 and 2008. But no single cult clash before I left in 2008. I worked then with the late Akarigbo, Oba Michael Sonariwo and others.”

The Force PRO added that the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abiodun Alamutu, should look inward and take action on the report by some residents that the cultists are well known to security agents.

“I will engage the CP on this. Whoever is dealing with cultists and criminals must not compromise. That person must stand firm, and operate against all odds.”

Adejobi added, “Most of those who cause this wahala (problem) in Sagamu are not even Sagamites. At times, they come from Ijebu Ode or Ago Iwoye to strike and move. In some cases, they come as far as Edo State. It’s a problem that the whole system must tackle, not only the security forces. It requires multi-track diplomacy.

“We will discuss this with the CP and take the necessary steps. In Sagamu, almost every young one is a cultist. Okada riders, artisans, etc. are into cultism even more than students, and I think the whole town and Remoland, in general, should take action on it.

“I think the community should rise up to it. They should have an urgent meeting with the heads of all the quarters in Sagamu with the police and vigilante group to address this matter. Sagamites know and understand what I am saying here. I worked in Sagamu for almost 2 years.”

When contacted, the spokesperson of the Ogun State Police Command, Omolola Odutola said the number of those killed wasn’t up to 20, but failed to state the actual figures.

James Sowole in Abeokuta

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