Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, directed security agencies to rid Sagamu and its environs of cultists and cult-related activities in the state.
The governor gave the directive as the police confirmed the arrest of nine suspected cultists following the killing of eight persons over the weekend in Sagamu as rival cult groups clashed.
Speaking at a news conference in Abeokuta on Monday, Abiodun Alamutu, the Commissioner of Police, said the remote cause of the clashes was a land transaction that took place in the town.
“A land was sold and some form of commission or settlement was paid to a cult group by the owner of the land.
” A rival cult group got to know about the payment and went after members of the other group in a bid to get a share of the commission.
“The situation degenerated into an attack and counter-attack situation which started from Wednesday and continued till Sunday, leading to the death of eight persons,” Mr Alamutu said.
The police boss revealed the arrest of some of the kingpins of the rival cult groups.
He stated that nine suspects had been arrested over the killings.
He added that two guns and some rounds of cartridges were recovered from the suspects.
Investigation, according to the police boss, was ongoing into the killings.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Local Government Area, Jubril Odulate, has restricted the use of motorcycles in the area between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily as authorities battle to restore peace to the troubled town.
Meanwhile, Governor Abiodun, in a statement issued in Abeokuta by his spokesperson, Lekan Adeniran, expressed his regret for the avoidable loss of innocent lives and wanton destruction of property by the hoodlums.
According to the governor, the police and sister security agencies have been given a matching order to deal ruthlessly and decisively with those disturbing the peace of the town.
The governor reiterated his administration’s zero tolerance to brigandage and lawlessness, warning that those responsible for the current crisis in the town would find themselves to blame.
“As a responsible and responsive government, we are very sad with the resurgence of activities of criminal elements under different outlawed groups, raising unnecessary tension in the sleepy town of Sagamu and its environs.
“Let me categorically state that we are more than determined to put an end quickly to the nefarious activities of these hoodlums and enemies of our people who are hell-bent on truncating the peace of our land.
“Let these urchins be rest assured that the state will be too hot for them to operate as we are re-evaluating the security architecture for greater surveillance and tactical operation,” he said.
The governor noted that the new security approach would be implemented in collaboration with the traditional institution, community and religious leaders, youth groups as well as other critical stakeholders.
Mr Abiodun, therefore, appealed to the people of the town to provide adequate and useful information to security agencies for prompt response to prevent future occurrences.
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