There were heavy gun shots last night in Panseke area of Abeokuta, Ogun State, as a supremacy battle among suspected members of rival cult groups in the state reportedly claimed about seven lives.
The casualties were recorded within a week in different areas of the Abeokuta metropolis.
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The clashes allegedly involving members of Eiye and Aiye cult groups have thrown Panseke, Onikoko, Onikolobo, Oluwo, Adigbe and other parts of the state capital into panic and palpable tension.
A kingpin and popular area boy simply identified as Tommy was hacked to death on Thursday night at Panseke, thereby escalating the rival clash.
Apart from him, six others have been killed by suspected rival cultists during the supremacy battle.
Sources said the killings took place variously at Asero, Kugba, Ikereku, Panseke, Adigbe, Oke ijeun and Isale Abetu ,all in Abeokuta .
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed that there were killings in the state within the last week.
He said the commissioner of police, Lanre Bankole had ordered that the landlords whose houses were being used as either meeting points or residential by cultists in the state would be charged to court alongside the criminals .
Oyeyemi said: “We have launched a very serious operation on them. We are clamping very seriously on them.
“About 18 suspects have been arrested during the last encounter we had with them and we are not going to rest until we get the last person of these hoodlums , because, we cannot be watching anyone making life difficult for the members of the public .
“The commissioner of police has put on red alert all Area commanders and all tactical team commanders that they should go out and take the battle to the door steps of these hoodlums .We must fish them out one after the other .
“Any house that is harbouring any of these criminals, the landlords of such a house will be seriously dealt with . They cannot continue harbouring them and now coming out intermittently to wreck havoc. Are they pretending as if they don’t know them ?
“They are meeting somewhere within the community. Once we fold our arms and keep quiet, they will continue to unleash terror.”
Meanwhile, a bloody clash between suspected rival cult groups at Seme border has resulted in the death of a 19-year-old boy, Lateef Agboola.
Sources told NAN that Agboola, a student of Sito Grammar School, was macheted severally before being shot at close range on Friday at Zongo area of Seme border near Badagry, Lagos State.
NAN also gathered that the deceased, who allegedly belonged to Eiye Confraternity, was killed following reprisal attacks between rival suspected cultists.