Cult members clash: Lagos Island shops remain shut
Tension continued on Tuesday on the Lagos Island, Lagos State, as youths belonging to rival gangs made fresh moves to attack one another despite police presence.
PUNCH Metro gathered that two rival gangs, Okepopo boys and Onola boys, had declared war on each other as a supremacy clash that started over a week ago, showed no sign of abating.
Residents of the area told our correspondents that no fewer than six persons had been killed in the clash.
It was gathered that the Okepopo boys, led by one Abdulrasaq Kareem, aka Falapa, had been having the upper hand, while the Onola boys had been at the receiving end.
It was said the gang war had led to the closure of shops and markets at the Itafaji, Evans, Branco, Olushi, Atiko, Onola, Okepopo, Massey, Apatira and Smith areas on the Island.
One of our correspondents was told that residents had been packing out of the war zone to avoid becoming victims.
A resident, who pleaded not to be named for fear of being attacked, said trouble started after three members of Okepopo boys were lynched by Onola boys earlier in the year.
It was gathered that despite the intervention of some elders in the areas, Okepopo boyshad vowed to avenge the death of the members.
The resident said, “We heard that Okepopo boys had been buying English guns, which were superior to the Dane guns the gangs were using before. Everybody dismissed the information, but it has proven to be true.
“During the final celebration of 155 years of Epetedo’s existence, where a local musician was performing in the area, Okepopo boys started another round of war by attacking Onola boys. Two persons died in the encounter.
“Also, on Friday, one Irabor, a member of Onola boys, was shot dead. Mustapha, a popular guy on the Island, was killed on Sunday on Branco Street; two other persons were shot dead in the Okepopo area where Onola boys had gone for a reprisal on Monday.”
As of 8pm on Tuesday, residents that spoke with one of our correspondents on the telephone said traders were still afraid of spillover of the clash, adding that no shop had open.
The spokesperson for the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said eight persons had been arrested for their roles in the clash.
He was, however, silent on the deaths.
He said, “The police have arrested eight suspected cult members on the Lagos Island.
“They were arrested for their involvement in a free-for-all in the area. The state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, has declared one Kareem, aka Falapa; Erin Folami and his brother, Samson, wanted in connection with the fight. The free-for-all involved members of some cults.” Punch