by Tolu Orekoya
At least 15 people were injured and 50 cars destroyed on Sunday as Igbinedion University became the latest battle ground, with ex-militants and cult members clashing on the campus.
For over 12 hours, students and staff members were cowed in fear on their campus located in Okada, Benin City, Edo State as the machete-wielding factions went on a slash-and-burn spree, and may have beheaded at least two people according to reports.
Students of the school told Nigerian Eye that the incident began at approximately 3 a.m. in the morning and the rampage continued until about 4 p.m. The campus was locked down by the intruders, who locked the exit gates, and the dispatched mobile police unit sent by Edo State Police Commissioner, Mr Olayinka Balogun, were unable to gain access to the campus, according to the Vanguard newspaper.
Unconfirmed reports say the incident was triggered when suspected cult members invaded an ex-militants room on campus, attacking him with machetes and an axe and destroying his property. As a rumoured former high-ranking member in the militant group, the victim retaliated by calling on other ex-militants who sought out the cult members and returned the attack.
One of the students told Vanguard: “As we speak now, the ex-militants have locked up the school gates and are destroying cars and beating up students. We have all taken off from campus but policemen are all over the place. We all fled because the ex-militants said they were coming back again tonight.”
The university currently has just over 200 ex-militants admitted to various departments in the institution as part of the Federal Government’s amnesty program, aimed at retraining former Niger Delta militants.
Warning: Graphic Image below
Images: Nigerian Eye