A cult celebration in Ilorin, Kwara State, has killed at least four people.
Four members of various cult groups were allegedly killed during the festival, according to the Daily Trust.
The event occurred on Monday night in the Olunlade district of Ilorin, during the cult groups’ symbolic August 8 (8/8) celebration.
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Speaking about the incident, an unidentified public servant in one of the area’s government establishments said the problem began at a small gin shop near the Bovas Petrol station in Olunlade.
The source stated, “Some members of a cult group trailed a target who is a regular caller at the dry gin shop to the spot and opened fire while he (the target) tried to escape.
“The bullet fired by the cult members hit two people including the son of the local gin seller. They continued to chase their target and later got him and shot him in the head.”
Another resident of the area who identified himself simply as Abdulmojeed, however, said two people were killed by the cult members while two others sustained bullet wounds.
He said, “I don’t know if the son of the local gin seller who was shot survived but a majority of us scampered for safety when they started shooting.”
Abdulmojeed further noted that the police visited the area on Tuesday to restore normalcy adding that he was not sure if any arrest was made.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state Command, Ajayi Okasanmi confirmed the incident adding that two people were reportedly killed during the incident.
Okasanmi said, “Only two people were killed in the 8/8 celebration by the cult groups and not four. One person died on the spot of the crisis at Olunlade while the other was reported to have died later in the hospital.”
On the cause of the crisis, the PPRO said, “You know that yesterday (Monday) was August 8 and the different cult groups were celebrating the day in many places in the town.
“We don’t know what might have triggered the crisis among the cult members at Olunlade, but we gathered that the crisis might not be unconnected with rivalry among them. We gathered from intelligence that a crisis broke out and the rival cult members started shooting sporadically to attack each other.
“The situation has been brought under control and calmness had returned to the area.”