April 18, 2019 was a bloody day residents of Olokonla and Ogombo communities at Abraham Adesanya area of Eti-Osa Local Government Area Lagos State, will never forget in a hurry.
On that day, the fragile peace, which had characterised the communities, shattered, leaving decapitated bodies on the streets.
On the day in question, a popular land speculator, Abdurasak alias Alfa Nla, was killed by suspected cult members.
According to residents, Alfa Nla allegedly used to be a cultist until he renounced the group and became somewhat godly, earning him the nickname Alfa Nla.
After leaving the cult group, he started doing everything humanly possible to stop cultism and cultists from taking over communities in Eti-Osa Local Government Area.
Alfa Nla’s murder shocked residents to their bone marrows. Before his death, Alfa Nla had a team of youths under his wings. His untimely death caused them to be bitter and they embarked on reprisal the following day.
Before residents knew what was happening, dead bodies and severed heads were everywhere. Panicked residents, who didn’t want to be caught in the cross-fire, started moving out of both communities.
The once peaceful Olokonla and Ogombo communities became killing fields.
The cult war was between Eiye and Aiye groups. Four people were beheaded and their heads were dumped at Abraham Adesanyan bus stop ong Ajah-Epe Road, causing great panic.
Alfa Nla was believed to have been killed by cultists from General Paint dump site, Olokonla.
A resident of the area, who spoke with our correspondent under the condition of anonymity, said: “We have been indoors since the killings started.”
He explained that the mayhem started on April 18, after Alfa Nla was killed.
The resident explained that Alfa Nla was one of the people in the communities who had been fighting cultists and cultism.
He added: “There are shanties around those communities, where many foreigners, including Togolese live. These foreigners are mostly those involved in cultism. It is believed that those from the shanty communities killed Alfa Nla. He was killed after a minor issue. Since his murder, there has been no peace. Alfa Nla’s boys reinforced and had been fighting youths from the shanty communities.
“The following day after Alfa Nla, three persons were beheaded by rival group. The group is from Saudi community. Saudi community is another shanty community in Eti-Osa. In the reprisal that followed, someone was killed at Olokonla. Policemen came on Friday after one of the clashes, but later left. Right now, we are living in fear. We were all scared and locked ourselves indoors. Killings have been going on for long.”
Our correspondent, who went to these communities, gathered that the cultists, for reasons unknown, took to cutting off heads of their rival members during the clashes. Whenever they cut off a head, they would drop it beside the body.
“There was a third victim, but he was not beheaded,” said another resident. “When people started moving out of the communities, some of us had nowhere to run to. We stayed behind. I have nowhere to run to. This is the only place some of us have. Three persons were killed in the community behind Lagos Business School. In that community, every form of crime you can think of, including robbery, takes place there.”
When the corpses were counted, they were five; the lives of five youths extinguished like candles in the wind. The heads and corpses were left at different parts of the communities.
When the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of Operations was alerted about the matter, he immediately radioed Area J Command and other policemen. He instructed them to move into the communities and ensure the hostility was controlled. The police evacuated the bodies to mortuary.
The Baale of Ogombo Phase 2, Chief Lateef Ogunleye, said that he was still in shock after receiving the news of Alfa Nla’s murder.
He said: “On the day he was killed, Alfa Nla called to inform me that someone wanted to build a house in our community. I was sleeping when he called and when I woke up, I saw his calls. I was trying to return the calls, when another call came in. The caller told me that Alfa Nla had been shot by some cultists.
“I told the person that called me that they should rush him to the hospital. I was told he died on the way to the hospital as a result of blood loss. I was also told that one Mike, who was trying to save Alfa Nla, was also injured by the cultists.”
Asked him which security measures have been put in place in both communities following Alfa Nla’s killing, Ogunleye, said the residents enjoyed the support of policemen from Ajuwe and Ogombo police stations.
He said: “We also have local vigilantes patrolling the community from 7p.m. to 10p.m. on a daily basis.”
Speaking about hoodlums living in General Paint dumpsite, Ogunleye described them as dreadful and daring people.
He said: “There was a time two of my generators were stolen. After much effort, they were traced to General Paint dumpsite community. It took the intervention of the Seriki of the Hausa before the hoodlums brought out my generators.
“I heard from a good source that the hoodlums sell human parts, cocaine and other hard drugs. Instead of policemen to flush them out, they would rather go there to collect money from them. The hoodlums always claim that the land was given to them by a ‘white cap chief’. The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, should beam his searchlight on that community.”
Exactly four days after Alfa Nla was murdered, soldiers stormed Olokonla, went to one of the shanty communities around there and pulled them down.
The soldiers were said to have stormed the two communities on the orders of the Landlords’ Associations of Ogombo and Olokonla. The soldiers embarked on a demolition of some shanties, believed to be abode of suspected criminals and cult members.
One of the inhabitants of the affected shanty buildings, Mrs. Mariam Adediran, said the soldiers came into the community like thieves at night and pulled down their homes.
She said: “The soldiers came about midnight. We were asleep. They woke us up and ordered us to leave on our own accord or they would force us out.
“My husband and I were introduced into the community by a friend after he lost his job. When we got into the community, we built the house ourselves.
“We were still mourning Alfa Nla, when these soldiers came from nowhere. Right now, we don’t know where to start to pick the broken piece of our lives. They demolished houses and shops.”
After the soldiers were through with the first set of shanties, they moved to another, also leaving sorrow and tears.
Mrs. Comfort Oyedele, a victim of the second set of demolished shanties, said that she lost her shop and house. She cried that both makeshift buildings were pulled down without a notice from the soldiers.
“I was in my shop about 4p.m. when I saw about five soldiers patrolling the community. They asked us to leave. I asked the soldiers where they wanted us to go to. One of them told us that they were sent from Abuja to send those living in the shanties out of the community, because we were the ones harbouring cultists.
“I don’t see why they should accuse us of harbouring hoodlums. I still don’t know why the cultists killed Alfa Nla. On the fateful day, the deceased was with us when he saw some people wearing black shirts. They approached where he was sitting. He stood up and went to meet them. He actually wanted to know what they wanted. He didn’t know they came to kill him.
“Before we knew what was happening, they opened fire on him. When they realised that bullets were not penetrating his body, they brought out machetes and started cutting him. He fell down. We all scampered in different directions. It was after we returned that we were told that he was dead,” Oyedele said.
Following the bloodbath at Eti-Osa communities, the police, on April 19, launched an investigation and arrested Saheed Lateef and Julius Augulere. Police said both men were arrested for their alleged involvement in the cult clash that left five people dead in the Abraham Adesanya area.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Bala Elkana, in a statement said that an axe with bloodstains was recovered from the suspects.
He alleged that the suspects had confessed to the crime. Elkana also said that only four corpses were recovered.
He said: “On April 14, 2019, about 8.45a.m., the Ogombo Police Station received a distress call that rival cults engaged in a supremacy clash along Abraham Adesanya, Lekki-Epe Expressway and four members of the Eiye confraternity were killed by the Aiye confraternity members. Two suspects, Saheed Lateef (21) and Julius Augulere (20), both members of the Aiye confraternity, were arrested in connection with the case and they confessed to the crime.
“One axe with blood stains was recovered from them. The four corpses were evacuated and deposited in a public mortuary for autopsy. All the corpses had machete cuts. One of the corpses had a severed head, but it was not taken away. The command has launched a manhunt for other fleeing cult members.”
Cultists are presently on the rampage and killing in every part of the state. Our investigation revealed that most cultists these days now display their conquests openly with tattoos signifying the number of lives they have taken during different operations. Many of them have an admirable mastering of different weapons.
These weapons are the tools they freely use in harassing, intimidating, burning, looting, killing and decimating not only members of their cult groups, but also helpless and hapless Nigerians.
The situation is so bad that each time these cultists strike; they leave in their trail, blood and anguish. Killings in areas like Ajegunle, Ajah, Mushin, Ojuelegba, Ikorodu, Lekki, Epe, Okokomaiko, among other have become routine. Most times, the causes of their clashes are often battle for supremacy.
In July, four persons were killed while four others were wounded when members of the Eiye confraternity numbering about 50, invaded Okoya, Ogungbe, Moshalashi and Aroworade streets, wielding dangerous weapons and destroying property of members of the communities about 3a.m.
Also, Yusuf Onifade (24) was killed by suspected cultists on February 14, at Bariga area of the state. His grieving mother, Muibat Onifade (52), said that the boy was killed in the most gruesome manner.
She said: “My son was killed on Valentine Day, February 14. I don’t know why God didn’t take my life and spared that of my son. With the death of Yusuf, my days are numbered. It is the death of my son that is going to kill me. I cannot cope without him beside me.”
The distraught mother said she had been pregnant and had 10 babies, but they all died. Refusing to give up on having children, she kept trying and finally had five children that survived. Yusuf was one of the latter children. Among her children, Yusuf found a firm place in her heart because he was “generous.”
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