The head of Otumara community in Lagos Mainland Local Government of Lagos State, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye, identified Aiye and Eiye as the two major cult groups constituting a threat to residents of Ebute Metta. He alleged that police officers collaborate with the cultists by protecting and giving them “vital” information.
Narrating how officials of a Lagos police unit allegedly sold him out to cultists, Kalejaiye said: “Cultism is fast eroding the peace in Otumara community. It is disappointing to know that police officers who were meant to check the menace collaborate with cultists to terrorise the people
“Cultists are not ghosts. They are human beings like us and they live among us in the community. We know them but it has been difficult to bring them to justice for the crimes they have committed because they have some police officers who protect them. Anytime you give information to the police on the nefarious activities of cultists, be sure that they will sell you out. This is not a mere conjecture. It happened to me. This is why people are afraid to give relevant information that could lead to the arrest of cultists and other criminals to the police. People don’t have confidence in the police.
How police sold me out –Informant
The High Chief further went into membership identification. He said: “In Ebute Metta, for instance, there are many cult groups but Eiye confraternity and Aiye are the major groups. We have one of their leaders in Otumara. They walk freely in the community. Not long ago in Otumara, a cultist identified as Jackson killed a young man named Yusuf and fled the community. He is yet to be arrested by the police and his boys still operate and roam freely in the community. Cultists are everywhere in the community. They have their base at Moss Street where they meet in the night.
“Residents live in fear but they dare not complain. Let me share a personal experience: Some time ago, I wrote a petition to the police about the activities of cultists in Otumara and Lagos Mainland Local Government. In the petition, I mentioned the names of some suspected cultists and gave other relevant information on their hideouts and base.
“Expectedly, the police swung into action and made some arrests, including innocent residents. But I was shocked when I learnt that the police had given out the information I made available to them to the cultists.
“They divulged all I had said and written about the cultists in the petition to them. They even gave copies of my petition to them. They told them that they wouldn’t have raided their hideout if I hadn’t lodged a complaint about them. Should this be?
This shows the level of complicity between the police and cultists and this is why I said it will be difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate cultism from our communities. With what the police did to me, I have learnt not to trust them. It is now left for the Lagos State government to strengthen the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps to be able to confront the challenge of rising cultism and other related crimes in Lagos communities