Harvest of deaths in Ilorin
The renewed hostility between rival cultists in the ancient city of Ilorin had assumed an alarming dimension in the last few days. For the five days running, purveyors of death had been on the prowl hacking down those believed to have been marked for execution.
With the heartless killing accompanied by sporadic shooting by gun-wielding dreaded executors, anxiety had gripped residents of the city who now live in a state of uncertainty.
The brutal killing, which appeared like harvest of deaths had sent jitters down the spine of not only the relative of the victims but also those resident in their neighbourhood in anticipation of consequence of the murderous adventure.
There is no doubt that the elimination bore the mark of warring cultists, cognizant of the commando style the eliminators arrived the scenes or spots designated to hack down the next victims.
On Sunday, residents of Sakama/Ikokoro axis off Niger Road, Ilorin were flabbergasted with their eyes saw. In what akin to a theatre of war, suspected cultists numbering about four stormed the area fully armed with guns and other dangerous weapons.
The men of the underworld were said to have in the last eight years waiting to eliminate Wasiu Idris following a renew rivalry, which sent some unidentified cult members to the eternal journey.
It was gathered that the hoodlums arrived the area around 3:10pm after they had succeeded in trailing the victim.
A source in the know told The Herald that the executors trailed Wasiu, nicknamed Adanri to a storey building in the area where he was sitting beside a man whose identity could not be immediately ascertained.
They were said to have ordered the man to quickly vacate the seat to enable them carry out the blood letting operation.
A brief dialogue was said to have ensued before the victim was gunned down.
The Herald gathered that Wasiu was shot in the upper region where the bullet plucked his eyes. The killers were said to have tarry awhile after the sporadic gun battle to confirm that the victim breath his last.
After confirming that the victim was breathing no more, the gunmen, one of them allegedly wearing a mask, were said to be moving freely heading towards Edun area, asking distraught residents and shop owners who initially scampered for safety not to panic as they reportedly said "it was a mission accomplished".
The victim, said to be in his 30s, had fled the country some years ago to avoid the trigger happy killers mowing down, but only returned some months ago, on the instruction of some powerful forces, who our source refused to disclose.
Adanri allegedly belonged to Aiye confraternity while those who carried out the killing were said to be members of a rival Eiye dread group.
Our correspondent was reliably informed that the shooting spree, which lasted about 20 minutes, compelled motorists and motorcycles plying the area to detour and opted for escape route.
Residents locked themselves up and shop owners hurriedly halted their businesses while the gunfight lasted. They expeditiously took the decision perhaps to avoid stray bullets as well as protect their shops against being looted by suspected hoodlums.
"It was like a theatre scene when the gunmen arrived. They started shooting that everybody around had to runaway. We didn't know what happened, we only discovered that the style of operation of the gunmen appeared like they are cultists.
"Before now, we have been observing Wasiu (the victim) because his action too was suspicious. He might be a cult member that is why he was away for sometime now before the incident", a source said.
The Herald learnt that prior to the arrival of policemen to the scene, some relatives evacuated the victim's corpse to give him the burial.
It was observed that armed policemen from C Division, Oja-Oba, Ilorin arrived the scene and inquired from neighbours accounts of the incident.
They moved from one residential building to another to be acquainted with how the brutal killing occurred.
As if the murder of Adanri was a tableaux scene in a stage play, another man was also hunted down at Edun Junction.
He was said to have been shot severally by the assailants before he gave up the ghost.
It was gathered that the victim was left in his own pool of blood by the roadside for some hours before the arrival of a detachment of policemen who took the lifeless body of the victim away.
The killing spree also proceeded to Gaa-Akanbi area where another person was said to have been shot dead.
Available information at The Herald's disposal also showed that the murderous killing raced to Saw-Mill Area of Ilorin where one person was also killed in a gun battle.
The identity of the victim could not be known at press time, but a source told our correspondent yesterday that the victim was shot near a popular White House Hotel, Saw-Mill area.
The scene of the incident also became riotous as shop owners swiftly closed for business to avoid possible implication in the free blood spill
In what could be likened to scene by scene in a movie, the free for all killings dovetailed Monday as another person, suspected of a rival murderous group, was also gunned down in Oja-Tuntun Market.
The victim was said to have been trailed and later given a hot chase by his assailants. He was said to have been overtaken and shot severally before the killers left the scene.
It was learnt that the ancient market was thrown into confusion as traders, buyers, pedestrians and bystanders ran for their life.
Our correspondent observed that the harvest of blood letting came barely 10 weeks after Bayo Ajia was killed near Ilorin township Stadium in a suspicious circumstance. On the day of his death, another man identified as Bukola Ajikobi was also hacked down.
Following the killing believed to have been perpetrated by rival cultists, the state police command declared suspected cultists and street urchins wanted in connection with certain criminal acts committed in the past.
The wanted list of the suspects was made available to selected newsmen in Ilorin by the spokesperson of the command, Okasanmi Ajayi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police.
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