There was pandemonium on Monday afternoon in the Ilaje Ebute area of Bariga, Lagos, when suspected cultists clashed, leading to the death of one, while several others were injured.
The confusion, which lasted for hours, saw many residents of the area scampering for safety.
There were different accounts of what led to the clash as residents and shop owners gave different versions.
According to some, the mayhem started when a cult group, identified as the Eiye Confraternity, stormed the Ilaje area which is said to be the enclave of a rival cult group, simply known as the Shaggie’s Boys, to launch a reprisal.
Our correspondent learnt that two leaders of the Eiye cult, identified by the slang names, Sir Kay and Small J-pron, led the attacks into the Ilaje area on Monday.
Others claimed that the clash started three days ago when there was a robbery in the area allegedly perpetrated by the Eiye cultists. The police were said to have killed one of them while two others were arrested and detained.
In a bid to secure the release of their detained members, the cultists therefore went on the rampage on Monday, shooting into the air, and storming the base of their rival group in Ilaje, Bariga.
When our correspondent visited the area, a resident told our correspondent that the hoodlums shot several times into the air.
Another resident, who identified himself simply as Mr. Samuel, said cult rivalry and clashes in the area were becoming prevalent, adding that the victims were usually innocent pedestrians.
He said, “This trouble is between the Eiye confraternity, which dominates Bajulaiye, Somolu, and the Aiye which rules Bariga side. There have always been attacks and reprisal from them. When they don’t clash, they resort to armed robbery.
“Today, they have shot several times around here until the police came to calm the situation.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, confirmed that some hoodlums created mayhem in the area.
She added that the trouble began when the hoodlums sighted the men of the Federal SARS who had come to the area for an operation.
She said, “There was nothing like people fighting with guns.
“What happened was that men of the Federal SARS were at Bariga this morning for an operation based on a petition against some hoodlums. But on sighting the police, they started formenting trouble, but they were all arrested. The area is relatively calm and quiet right now.”