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General News of Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Source: Today NG

Cultists take control of 3 local councils in Edo

No fewer than 20 persons have been killed in renewed rivalry between cult groups, in Benin, Edo state capital.

Three police operatives, including an assistant commissioner of police, who doubles as Benin area commander, have also felt the wraught of gun-wielding cult members, who shot at them around Upper Sakpoba area of the city.

The warring cult groups have literally taken control of about three local government areas, namely, Ikpoba Okha, Egor and Ovia North East, of the south senatorial district of the state.

Areas such as Upper Sakpoba, 3rd Junction, Three House and St.Saviour, all in Ikpoba Okha local government area are in the clutches of the rival cult groups suspected to be members of Black Axe and Eiye confraternities.

The gunmen are also in full control of areas like Medical Store Road, Textile Mill Road, and Ogida Quarters in Egor local government area, while Ugbowo, Isiohor and Oluku, in Ovia South local government area, have been taken over by the cult groups.

It was learnt that the cult groups engaged in free-for-all unhindered in broad day light, while residents scampered for safety.

It was further learnt that on most occasions, they engaged in robbery from one shop to another, following the absence of police operatives who have stayed off the streets since the #EndSARS protest, during which some police stations were razed and arms and ammunition carted away.

The situation was further compounded with the escape of about 2000 inmates of the two correctional centres in Benin.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, had disclosed that three police stations located along Sokponba Road were destroyed and burnt, and patrol vehicles destroyed in several other parts of the state capital.

He however said that his men were making frantic efforts to restore normalcy to the state.

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