By Ahmed Ajikobi
Following another fresh clash between suspected cultists at Baboko and Agaka area of Ilorin, over supremacy on Tuesday, leading to destruction of property with many sustaining injuries, the Kwara State Police Command has declared a notorious cultist, Kale Bayero wanted.
Suspected cultists in both camps began their rivalry on Saturday, wielding dangerous weapons and inflicting machete cuts on one another and passers-by.
The two groups were also said to have shot into the air sporadically, a development which saw shop owners and residents of the area, locking up. Also, some spare parts dealers had their goods carted away by the hoodlums.
However, following Tuesday’s fresh attack by Baboko hoodlums on their Agaka compatriots, the state Police Command has declared Kale Bayero wanted, adding that 15 suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the clash.
The command made this known in a press statement issued by the police spokesperson, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi on Tuesday.
The statement reads: “Sequel to the cult supremacy crisis rocking Agaka, Baboko and Adabata areas of Ilorin, since Sunday 1st April 2018, the command in its effort to restore sanity and apprehend all the actors, deployed a unit of Police Mobile force men, SARS operatives and teams of the command’s anti-cult section to arrest the situation.
“This effort has yielded some appreciable result as suspects have been arrested and calm has returned, while effort is in top gear to arrest the mastermind and the leader of the cult group named Kale Bayero.
“However, this release is to alert members of the public of the premium placed on getting the said cultist arrested, hence anybody with genuine information that may lead to the arrest of Kale Bayero and members of his group, is advised to do so immediately, as the suspect is a threat to peace and tranquility in existence before now.”
Meanwhile, the Police Command has beefed up security in the troubled zone in order to avert any plan of reprisal attack by any of the warring groups.
When our reporter visited the area, residents and the shop owners were noticed discussing the incident in hush tones, with none of the traders attending to customers for fear of being attacked. Also noticed yesterday afternoon were police patrol vans with each vehicle manned by SARS officers and vigilantes to forestall breakdown of law and order.
In a related development, members of Agaka community in a statement signed by the Secretary, Dauda Garuba Ajia has called for the two groups to sheathe their swords for peace to reign.
“Our prayer is that the two communities that have been living in harmony for centuries will not become enemies over unholy acts.
“We are appealing to the youth of both communities to give peace a chance. Anybody caught fomenting trouble will be handed over to security agents,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Government has debunked rumours making the round that it ordered the men from 22 Amoured Brigade, Sobi, who were initially deployed to the trouble zone to return to the barracks.
The state government described the claim as untrue and baseless.
Speaking with our reporter, last night, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr Muyideen Akorede said it was wrong for anyone to make such claim, especially as the state government has no such power to control security apparatus.
“There is no iota of truth in that rumour. The state government will not do anything that will lead to crisis and breakdown of law and order in the state,” the governor’s aide said.