One person was killed and several others sustained injuries when members of the Aiye and Eiye confraternities clashed on the Sagamu Road in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State on Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses told PUNCH Metro that the clash, which occurred around 7pm, was a territorial battle.
They stated that many innocent persons, who were returning from work, as well as passers-by, were injured as they tried to flee the scene of the clash.
An eyewitness, who identified himself simply as Ayo, said violent clashes between the rival groups had put the lives of the residents of the area at risk.
He stated that the situation appeared to have overwhelmed the police as many of the cultists were not being made to face justice after killing and maiming people.
Ayo said, “The Aiye members invaded the territory of the Eiye and passers-by and workers, who were returning to their homes, were caught unawares.
“The Aiye lost one of its members to the clash, which lasted several minutes before the arrival of policemen from the Sagamu Road Police Station.”
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said frequent cult clashes in the area were hampering business activities.
She stated that business outfits in the area were on the brink of collapse owing to the frequent clashes, which often resulted in massive looting of shops and other premises.
According to her, many of the traders who own shops in the area, have closed down after suffering losses as a result of massive looting of their wares during cult clashes.
She said, “It appears that the cultists plan the attacks to loot shops. I have borrowed money several times to keep the business going after being looted. The clashes often happen suddenly.
“And sometimes when they don’t see what to steal outside, especially when the traders have left for home, the cultist break into shops and steal whatever they can lay their hands on.”
She added that if the trend continues, many business ventures would move out of Ikorodu.
She noted that the police were not proactive enough to curb the frequent cult clashes in the area.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, confirmed the death of one of the cultists, adding that the commissioner of police, Hakeem Odumosu, had deployed special forces to all police divisions and stations in the Ikorodu area to tackle the menace of cultism.