Barely 72-hours after Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, approved a 21-year jail term for convicted cultists, rival cult groups have again disrupted activities in Ketu, Kosofe Local Government Area of the state after a face-off that has reportedly claimed lives.
As gathered, panics have continued renting Ketu community atmosphere after two rival-groups of cultists clashed on Tuesday evening, which has also stretched to Wednesday (today), a development said to have left residents in the community scampering for safety.
Due to the ongoing fights between the groups, residents within the community and shop owners have been forced to closed up and desert their homes while others have begun searching for another place of abode elsewhere as they feel unsafe with persistent fights among cultists.
As shown in several video clips posted online, operatives of the Nigerian police force and military have been deployed to restore normalcy.
Reacting to the incident, the Lagos State Police Command in a statement by its spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, said that 15 suspects have been arrested in connection to the incident and that normalcy has been restored to the area.
According to him, two locally made pistols, some live cartridges, assorted charms among others were recovered from the suspects.
“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, who had deployed policemen including the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and Taskforce to the area to quench the crisis and restore normalcy to the area, has ordered that the suspects be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba for discreet Investigation.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the crisis was connected to the revenue generation at the Ketu fruits market, and efforts are in top gear to apprehend other fleeing members of the gangs that orchestrated crisis in the area.
“The Commissioner of Police has however reiterated the command’s commitment to fighting crimes and criminality, especially cultism, in the state. He stated that the command will harness all legitimate means to suppress cultists’ activities in the state,” the statement said.
It would be recalled that Sanwo-Olu approved a 21-year jail term for convicted cultists across the state after signing into law the bill for the Prohibition of Unlawful Societies and Cultism of 2021.
Aside from the anti-cultism bill, also signed three other bills into law. They are Lagos State Audit Service Commission (Amendment) Law of 2019, Lagos State Public Procurement Bill of 2021, and Coronavirus Pandemic Emergency Law of 2021.
As stated, the anti-cultism law repeals the Cultism (Prohibition) Law of 2007 (now Cap. C18, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015) and provides for more stringent punitive measures, as well as makes its application all-encompassing and applicable to the general public, as against the restriction of the previous law to students of tertiary institutions.
Sanwo-Olu assented to the bill at the swearing-in event for newly appointed members of the State’s Public Procurement Agency Governing Board and two Permanent Secretaries held at the State’s House Banquet Hall, Alausa, on Monday.