Tension has heightened in parts of Benin, the Edo State capital, and adjoining towns following the escalation of bloody clashes between rival Aye and Eiye cult groups in the state.
This is as an Assistant Commissioner of Police (APC) in charge of the Area Command Benin and two senior police officers were shot in the early hours of the day at the popular Murtala Muhammed (MM) Way close to Third East Circular road junction near Sakponba Road in the capital City.
Soldiers have been deployed to the troubled areas of Upper Sakponba, Idogbo, Three House Junction and adjoining locations where activities of the cultists have sent residents fleeing for their lives.
Also, between Monday and Friday 18 persons have reportedly been killed during the bloody clashes between the two rival groups.
In addition, the ugly situation came as economic and development experts converged on the Dennis Osadebay Avenue Government House Benin to fashion out ways for peaceful and sustainable indices towards a viable economic blue print for the ‘Heart Beat State’ in the oil rich South-South geo- political zone of the nation.
Speaker after speaker harped on the need for synergy with Governor Godwin Obaseki and his government to harness the huge cultural, tourism, agricultural, socio-economic and political potentials for a better future for teeming youths and other segments of the entire state.
It was not clear what may have sparked the latest killings across major towns and some local government areas in the South senatorial districts of the state.
Our Correspondent’s investigations revealed that one of the key actors of one of the rival cult confraternity was scheduled for burial yesterday, a development that attracted who is who in the confraternity.
However, the APC and two other officers were said to have shot moments the hoodlums sighted his team on rescue mission to the troubled MM Way, Upper Sakponba, Idogbo and Ugbekun areas considered as core den of the illegal groups.
Several people sustained gunshot injuries in the process.
Both the policemen and others injured were rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and other nearby hospitals for treatment.
The activities of the rival blood thirst cultists were said to have also taken its toll in Ekenwan Road, Siluko Road, Wire Road, Dumez Road, Textile Mill Road, New Benin Road, Ogida Quarters, Ogbe Quarters and Ibivwe Quarters of the City.
About 450 shops, five markets, banks, public and private schools were shut as at Friday morning.
Parents had to rush to the various schools to take their wards home moments the troubled atmosphere became charged with non-stop shootings.