A manhunt has begun for the cutists suspected of killing their leader in the Bariga area of Lagos state.
The slain leader, popularly known as Major, is said to be behind the initiation of Eiye boys in Shomolu and Bariga areas of the state, New Telegraph reports. He was described as a fearless leader and a terror in his community and to other rival cult groups. He was eventually killed, allegedly by his fellow Eiye cultists, while he slept at his home in Taiwo off Rashida Kotun Street Idiaba, Bariga, Lagos, last month.
A source who requested anonymity told New telegraph that his assailants sneaked into his house and stabbed Major in the chest and other parts of his body, adding that they knew that was the only way they could attack and kill him. Policemen attached to the Bariga Police Station Lagos State police command have begun search for the suspects and have reportedly compiled names of suspects in connection with the crime, sources revealed the police had declared 11 persons wanted over the murder.
Major’s killing came barely 24 hours after the newly sworn in Chairman Shomolu Local Government Mr Abdul-Hammed Salawu popularly known as Dullar had a peace talk at the traditional ruler’s palace. His murder punctured the relative peace in the community.
Narrating what led to the murder, a police source reportedly said: “In an attempt to maintain peace in the community, the new Shomolu local government chairman Mr. Salawu popularly known as Dullar visited the traditional ruler at Bashua in Shomolu on Isese day on August 20, to pay homage to the Kabiesi, Oba Bashua and he held a peace talk with Aiye and Eiye boys.
“According to one of the boys, the Chairman, Shomolu local government after the peace talk gave the Eiye group N10,000, other people said it was N500,000 he gave them to share after his visit to the paramount ruler. However, the Eiye Confraternity had two factions fighting over leadership.
“One of the boys named Bajio from a faction collected the money and Major who claimed to be the top leader and initiator of all the Eiye boys in Shomolu and Bariga told Bajio to give him the money but Bajio refused.
Major was angry over Bajio disrespect in public so he gave Bajio a punch on his mouth and blood gushed out from his lips. Angered by the public humiliation by Major, Bajio, now at large, who is of the same Eiye cult group with Major decided to take revenge. We learnt that he organised his friends of same group and they attacked and stabbed Major to death in his sleep”
Major according to his friends who have been paying tribute to him, grew up in Ilaje area of Bariga. He was said to be an Eiye cult member but he graduated to be the top man.
One of his friends who requested anonymity while describing Major said: “After graduating from Unilag, Major returned to his father’s house in Ilaje and started the Eiye cult where he initiated all the Eiye boys in Shomolu and Bariga. His gang and the Aiye boys were always fighting and causing mayhem in the community. Major with the assistance of one Ibrahim aka Small Japron who has been remanded in prison custody, fought with the Aiye boys and many Aiye boys were murdered. Property worth millions of naira were destroyed in their supremacy battle for control in the community and they killed their rivals without mercy.
“The Shomolu local government Chairman tried to make peace with them since he was sworn in. The Eiye boys are seen in the local government trying hard to be the only group close to the Chairman. There will be reprisals over the murder.”
Speaking on the activities of cultists in the area, a police source said: “There are many cultists in Shomolu and Bariga areas. They love to control the LGA. The two cult groups are the Aiye and Eiye Confraternities. Hardly can you find a young man in the community that does not belong to Aiye or Eiye. These two groups have been at loggerheads with each other. Their supremacy fight over control of motor parks, dredging sites, okada riders and petty businesses has resulted in bloodshed and destruction.
“More than 20 young men have been killed in the last six years. These cultists have instilled fear in residents and though their parents know that their sons are members, they shield them from arrest. These cultists have killed community leaders who spoke against them. One of the community leaders and human rights activist they murdered in 2013 was Comrade Vincent Olatunde.”
When contacted over the incident, Mr. Salawu said he is not aware of the incident. He said “I don’t know anything about it”.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Lagos State police command ASP Olarinde Famous- Cole confirmed the murder. He said “There is an ongoing investigation into the killing. We are on top gear to arrest the prime suspect and others involved.”