Aftermath of the violent clash between two rival cult groups in Otumara community of Lagos Mainland Local Government of the state, its traditional ruler, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye, says residents in the community are under the siege of members of Eiye and Aiye cult groups whose recurring clashes have overwhelmed the community.
Kalejaiye alleged that the clashes have led to the death of many innocent people while also crippling economic activities as residents live in fear of attack.
He said, “Whenever Eiye and Aiye cult members clash in Otumara and some of them were arrested, the police and the court end up letting them off the hook for lack of enough evidences to prosecute them.
This is why I am appealing to the Lagos State Police command and the state Ministry of Justice to be more diligent in investigating and prosecuting alleged cultists and cultism.
Cultists have wreaked havoc in Otumara community. They are making lives unbearable for residents and cut short many destinies.
Many businesses have gone bankrupt due to the recurring cult clashes. These cultists are not ghost. They live among us in the community.
We know all of them but our main challenge is that whenever the security committee of the community arrest any of them, they lack diligent prosecution.
In the recent cult clash, two cultists identified as Uche Chika alias Iya Ibo and Abiodun Usman were killed.
And after the violent clash, they all ran away from the community but within two to three months, I know they will return to the community.
We are ready to work with the police and the state Ministry of Justice therefore I am appealing to them to help us in our fight against cultism.
At this point, I must commend the efforts of officers of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Agency in the community. Their officers have been helpful in the fight against cultism in the community.
But whenever the cultists return to the community after normalcy has returned and our security committee get hold of them and hand them to the police, we want the police to investigate and prosecute accordingly.
Officers from the Lagos state anti-cultism squad raided the community on Friday, January 14; they arrested some cultists including one of their leaders identified as Omo Jones.
As I speak, the arrested cultists are still with the state police command and I am sure justice will be served on them.
So, I want the police to proffer murder charge against the cultists because human life is sacred and must not be wasted. Whenever the cultists who fled the community return, they must be made to face the law and stand trial for murder charge.
It is only by doing this that sanity can be restored to the community and residents will live without fear of harassment.
Making Otumara a cult free community is possible; it only requires concerted efforts of the community, neighbourhood safety corps, police and the judiciary.”
Weighing the consequences of cultism on residents of the community, head of operations, Otumara Security Committee, Muraina Nurudeen, said his committee is doing its best to rid the community of cultists and cult related violence.
“We have enjoyed maximum cooperation from residents in the area of provision of vital information. The only challenge I can say we are being confronted with is in the area of lack of cooperation from the police.
There are instances of cultists being arrested by us and they end up being freed by the police.
I am appealing for a synergy between the security committee and the police in the area of eradication of cultism in Otumara.
We want a thorough investigation into alleged cultism and possibly prosecute offenders.
We want them to assist us in our fight against cultism to make Otumara more habitable community for residents.”