Tension Grips Akure Residents as Cult Clashes Claim 10 Lives

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Police parade teenage ex-convicts
James Sowole in Akure

Palpable tension has gripped residents of Akure, the Ondo State capital, following incessant clashes among rival cult groups which have reportedly left about 10 persons dead.
The situation exists just as police paraded four teenagers that were arrested in an uncompleted building near the state House of Assembly.

Three of the teenagers were ex-convicts who were recently released from Olokuta Prison in Akure and another from Lagos.
THISDAY gathered that frequent clashes had occurred at Okearo, NEPA, Old Garage and FUTA areas which had left some people dead.

It was gathered that victims of the clashes were also members of cult groups while the current clashes were due to attempt to demonstrate supremacy.
An unidentified man was killed at NEPA area late on Monday while some were injured during a clash during Eid-el -Fitri festivities between rival cult groups at Arakale area.
The constant clashes in several parts of the state capital have now become a subject of discussions among the people of the state.

The abandoned building where the four teenagers were arrested yesterday became a tourism site as people from all parts of the Akure metropolis trooped to the place to know what had happened.
Rumours on Monday went viral as some people went to town with the rumour that ritualists were arrested in the building.

However, the parade of the four teenagers, Wake Ayenumowa, Bidemi Victor, Ojo Odunayo and Omololu Kayode, between ages 18 and 19, revealed that they were not ritualists.
It was revealed that the suspects only turned the building to their place of abode and from where they go to burgle shops.

Some items stolen by the suspects, which were displayed at the police headquarters are provisions, rice, children slippers and hair creams.
The suspects confessed that they stole the items from a shop around waste management area.
Speaking with journalists, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) , Mr. Femi Joseph, said the command had arrested 21 suspected cultists.

He said only three persons were killed during recent clashes while two others were injured.
Joseph said those killed were also suspected cult members, stating that the figures about victims of the clashes were exaggerated as police only have three casualties in their record.
He said the command was doing everything possible to rid the state of criminal elements.