One dead as rival cults clash in Ilorin

By Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

A suspected cult member Thursday allegedly lost his life in a street brawl involving his cult group and another in Kwara.

Attempts by the police to arrest the deceased cult member said to be evading police arrest led to his Waterloo.

In the process scores of others sustained varying degrees of injury during the street brawl between rival cult groups.

It was gathered that the dead cultist, identified as Musbau Saheed trying to escape police arrest allegedly jumped into the Surulere canal in the metropolis.

It was gathered that inter-community fight had ensued among suspected cultists/hoodlums from Baboko, Oja Tuntun and Surulere communities in the Ilorin metropolis, leading to the cult clash.

It was further gathered that the police from Surulere and other divisions were drafted in to restore normalcy, thereby arresting suspects as some people sustained injury in the process.

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It was gathered that some of the hoodlums mobilized for a reprisal attack with the aim of forcing a release of their arrested colleagues at the Surulere police division, thereby leading to fierce exchange of fire from both sides.

Spokesperson of the state police command Okasanmi Ajayi said that men of the command went out to quell a chaotic situation involving two cult groups in the metropolis.

He added that some arrests have been made.

“The command hereby wishes to allay the fear and anxiety of the people of Ilorin, especially in Baboko area where some hoodlums blocked the road, preventing free flow of traffic this morning, in protest of the incident of the arrested suspected cultist, who in an attempt to escape from the police took a dive into the river close to the scene of the arrest, the hoodlums took to the street and blocked the road.

“It happened that, the arrest came on the heels of an actionable intelligence available to the Command, indicating that some suspected cultists were assembled at an uncompleted building in Baboko area in readiness for an attack. A team of detectives were detailed to the scene.

“Two of the suspects were arrested, while taking them to the station, one of the suspects by name Musbau Saheed ‘m’ jumped into a nearby river close to the scene. An attempt by the police and fire Service Officers to rescue him was delayed by hoodlums who made the rescue attempt difficult. Eventually he was rescued and taken to hospital where he was confirmed dead.

“The commissioner of police, CP Mohammed Lawal Bagega visited the scene and directed a discreet investigation into the matter; he also ordered that effort must be geared towards arresting the fleeing members of the group.

“The CP advised members of the public to go about their lawful endeavors without any fear, as the police is on ground to ensure the safety and security of all citizens.”

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