The police in Ogun have arrested no fewer than 150 suspects following supremacy clashes between rival cult groups in Ifo and Sango- Ota axis of the state.
The Ogun Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, stated this on Sunday at the Ifo Divisional Police Station where he paraded the suspects. NobleReporters reports that the high point of the crisis occurred on April 4, as many residents fled for their lives and others lost possessions in the mayhem.
Ebrimson, however, refuted claims that armed robbers hijacked the crisis, adding that “there was no report or complaint of robbery made to the command by anyone from the troubled areas”
The CP described the incident as “a case of cult clashes among seven rival groups within the areas as a result of recent death of one of the members” .
He explained that the command swung into action immediately it received the information and had since effected arrests in connection with the incident.
“We deployed our men from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Anti-Cultism unit, Anti-Kidnapping unit, the Special Forces and conventional policemen drawn from the Ifo and Ota area commands.
“Our men smoked the suspected criminals out of their hideouts and recovered various weapons.
“We recovered eight locally made guns, 52 live cartridges, eight knives, 12 handsets, two scissors, large quantity of weeds and several cutlasses,” he said.
“It all started on April 4 as a reprisal attack on other rival cult groups from a cult group which had earlier lost a member.
“I want to say that there was no single case of armed robbery or any case of kidnapping that has been reported to us.
“The basic issue is cultism that emanated from the killing of one of them in Ifo and spread to Sango, Ijoko and Agbado areas,” he said.
We will deal ruthlessly with arrested culprits – Dapo Abiodun
Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun on Sunday vowed to deal ruthlessly with criminals terrorizing the people of the state.The governor said this in a statement issued in Abeokuta by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kunle Somorin.
NobleReporters reports that the state police command had earlier on Sunday paraded 150 suspects in connection with recent series of harassments, robberies, burglaries and cult clashes that occured within the Agbado Ijaiye, Sango, Ijoko and Ifo axis of the state.
The governor said: “It has become expedient that we do not spare the rod and spoil the child. Anybody, no matter whose child he or she is, if found guilty of armed robbery, would be visited with the full weight of the law, including capital punishment.
Abiodun urged the police to intensify efforts at curbing the nefarious activities of criminals, asking them to smoke them out of their hideouts and promptly investigate those involved in the activities across the state.
He said the state would avail all other security outfits, including the Department of State Security Service and the armed forces, with necessary material and logistic support to end the reign of terror unleashed by armed robbers on the state.
“I will not hesitate to confirm sentences, even of capital punishment, if that will deter these social misfits. Ogun has zero- tolerance for criminals and we will deal with it with venomous measures,” he said.
The governor commended the state police command for its swiftness and prompt adherence to directive of the state government to flush out those turning the sit-at-home order to a criminal enterprise.
He enjoined all other relevant agencies to immediately up their intelligence gathering mechanisms to ensure that there was no reoccurrence of the criminal acts, especially as the state continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
He restated governments commitment to ensuring that the state remained conducive for living and businesses without fear of criminals and other unscrupulous elements.
Abiodun assured the people that he would not joke with the security of lives and property of citizens and residents alike.
The governor added that he would continue to give all necessary support to security agencies, as he had done by providing mobility and other working equipment for effective service delivery.
The governor enjoined all law-abiding citizens and residents to remain calm and continue to comply with the stay-at-home directive as the situation is now fully under control.