Cult clashes: Relocate to Sagamu, Abiodun tells security heads

• Lawmaker, fleeing cultists nabbed

Operatives of the Department of State Security Services on Wednesday reportedly arrested a member of the State House of Assembly representing Sagamu Constituency I, Damilare Mohammed, elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party and six suspected cultists within the lawmaker’s legislative quarters in Abeokuta.

Mohammed was alleged to have been providing shelters for the six fleeing suspected cultists, who were allegedly fingered in the recent four days’ rival of cult groups clashes in Sagamu during which eight people were killed.

The state government in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday morning, said, “The member, representing Sagamu State Constituency (1), Damilare Bello Mohammed, was alleged to have provided shelter for the fleeing cultists.

“A team of security operatives, in a sting operation after a tip-off, arrested the suspects in the premises of the lawmaker.

“Those arrested, according to sources, include Damilare Bello Mohammed, aka DRE, Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade. They are presently undergoing interrogation at the Department of State Service.

“Sources revealed that many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from the suspects. Recall that Bello was arrested by the DSS for masterminding the violent protest that took place in February this year in Sagamu over the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“During the protest, irate youths vandalised about 10 banks and other public infrastructure.”

However, the PDP Secretary in Ogun State, Dr Sunday Solarin, described the invasion of the official residence of the lawmaker as well as his arrest as nothing but a witch-hunt of opposition members.

Speaking with our correspondent, Solarin said, “There is no better way to see this incident than a sheer display of act of irresponsibility on the part of the government of the day. It is nothing but acts of witch-hunting because this young man just came back from the UK.”

Also, the Ogun State chapter of the PDP accused Governor Abiodun of using the DSS to harass the opposition.

The party equally condemned what it described “as the ongoing media trial of Damilare Mohammed, who was arrested last night by DSS officers allegedly in connection with the last Sagamu cult clashes”.

In a statement issued by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Asiwaju Akinloye Bankole, and made available to journalists on Thursday, the party said it was concerned that the investigation was not being done with utmost professionalism and sincerity

Death penalty for cultists 

In a related development, the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, said that his administration would soon enact a law that would pronounce death penalty on anyone caught engaging in cult activities in the state.

Abiodun made this known on Tuesday at a meeting with the Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, and his chiefs at the Akarigbo Palace in Sagamu.

Abiodun expressed shock at the wanton destruction of lives and peace of Sagamu and its environs, even as he warned that the government would not fold its arms and watch unscrupulous persons run riots in any part of the State

He said, “We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that we bring any person directly, indirectly or remotely responsible for these occurrences to book. I have discussed with the Attorney General; perhaps it is our disposition that allows for these occurrences of heinous crimes.

“It is well within my powers as the governor of this state to pronounce the death penalty on people and we are going to ensure that we enact that because when people appreciate and understand the consequences of their behaviours, perhaps they will begin to have a rethink.

“I have called on the Commissioner of Police, the Director of the State Service, the Commander of the Civil Defence, our Amotekun Commander and all our security architecture to relocate to Sagamu for this purpose.”

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