The Ogijo area of Ogun state was thrown into disarray on Tuesday and Wednesday as some gunmen shot sporadically killing no fewer than four residents.
According to Punch Metro one of those killed was a man who had gone to buy petrol at an MRS filling station and a woman who sold herbs by the roadside.
A boy hawking foodstuffs was also reportedly hit by a stray bullet during the mayhem which lasted for about 30 minutes.
Residents lamented that despite the closeness of the Ogijo Police Division to the scene of the incident, the police went into hiding and only came out 30 minutes after the gang had left to remove the corpses of the victims.
On Wednesday the area was deserted as commercial buses avoided the route.
A resident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said trouble started around 8:30pm when the six-man gang entered the community.
He said, “I observed that they were six guys and were on two motorcycles; some of them wore masks. When they got to Ogijo bus stop, they halted. Nobody suspected anything until they started shooting in all directions. There was confusion everywhere. The gang moved to the MRS filling station and shot the man point-blank. He died on the spot.
“They then moved to Market Road where they opened fire on people in a pub. Four Igbo traders sustained gunshot injuries there. A woman, identified as Shade, who sold herbs was also injured and she was rushed to a hospital where she died this morning. A boy selling on the road was shot in the head. At least, four people died between last night and this morning (Wednesday).”
A source at the filling station said that the deceased was a customer, adding that he could not tell why he was a target of the cult members.
The victim’s jerrycan and slippers were still at the station when PUNCH Metro visited.
“He was about buying fuel when they entered into the filling station and shot him dead. He was the only one shot here. The police came to carry his corpse 30 minutes afterwards,” the source said.
The other injured victims were rushed to two private hospitals in the community – Victory Clinic and Maternity Centre, Ogijo; and Oladayo Medical Centre, Ogiji Remo.
A worker at the second medical centre said family members of the two victims rushed to the centre had taken them away.
“They said they will be taking them to traditional healing homes to treat their bullet wounds,” the worker, who did not want to be named, said.
A source who spoke with the medium said that members of the Aye Confraternity were behind the attack, adding that they were preparing to celebrate a cult festival known as 8/8.
He said, “This is not the first time they will be doing this. They said because they were not allowed to celebrate 7/7 with a lot of killing, there will be more bloodshed come August 8, when they will be marking 8/8.”
Another source explained that the Tuesday attack was targeted at members of the Eiye Confraternity, a rival group.
He, however, said most of the casualties were innocent residents.
A resident of Ogijo lamented that throughout the period of the shootings, the policemen hid in their station.
“They cannot say they didn’t hear the gunshots because their station is beside the filling station. They just decided to let those criminals kill as many people as they wished. It is sad that we don’t have security in this community and our policemen are only good at collecting money from motorcycle riders and extorting motorists,” he said.
The acting Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the police had a record of two deaths.
He said, “It was a clash between rival cult members and before the police from the Ogijo division could respond, two people had been killed. We have increased security in the area and normalcy has been restored. Everybody is going about their normal business without any fear now.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.