Scores of landlords and property owners have begun to place “for sale” notices on their buildings as no less than 26 residents of Ikorodu, Lagos State, have been killed by Badoo, a notorious ritual cult group.
The development comes as dozens of residents of the affected areas in Ikorodu, Lagos are beginning to consider relocating permanently from the area unless government takes necessary steps to address the new wave of crime, popularly known as Badoo, a new method of ritual killings in which the victims’ heads are smashed with grinding stone and their blood collected for rituals.
The Guardian reports that while some landlords placed “for sale” notices on their buildings having relocated out of Ikorodu, others simply put their houses under lock and key pending when the ugly situation would be addressed.
It is understood that on Friday, a community, Owode Ibeshe – where the agents of Badoo started their dreaded ritual killings few months ago – was nearly deserted, while those who are yet to find anywhere to relocate live in fear.
It was the same scenario at Oke Odo, Itamaga, Agbowa, First Gate, Odogunyan and Ogijo in Ogun State.
Residents of all the aforementioned areas are currently living in perpetual fear of being attacked by members of the dreaded Badoo group.
The Punch also quoted a report as saying that the deaths of the 26 persons were recorded in 15 attacks by the gang between June 5, 2016, and June 27, 2017, while no fewer than 14 persons were also injured in the attacks.
Badoo was first heard of on June 5, 2016, when suspected members of the gang struck at Oke Ota community in Ibeshe, raping and killing a 27-year-old Ghanaian, Obinna.
On July 9, the gang returned to Ibeshe, attacked one 60-year-old Francisca and blinded her 10-year-old daughter, Marvellous.
On Saturday, July 23, a Badoo member sneaked into a Celestial Church of Christ building in Itesiwaju community – a suburb of Ibese – while a vigil was ongoing and abducted an eight-year-old girl.
The girl was raped to a coma, but a suspected member was caught later that day and set ablaze by a mob.
On October 21, 2016, the gang attacked a family in Oluwoye community, killing a pregnant woman, Afusat Yusuf.
Her husband, Kazeem, and the couple’s two kids – Rodiat and Opeyemi – were injured.
On November 4, 2016, a 62-year-old widow identified only as Mrs. Ogunleye, and her two children, Seun and Funlola, were the targets in the Owode-Ibeshe area. They sustained varying degrees of injury.
On December 26, 2016, the attackers struck on Saka Adegbose Street, killing two siblings, Azeezat Oriade and Abeeb Oriade.
On March 1, 2017, Badoo members attacked a family on Mosafejo Street, Agbowa, Ikorodu, killing three siblings between ages four and nine and their mother.
On April 11, 2017, a family of three was wiped out in Ibeshe Tuntun by the gang.
On May 4, the suspected ritual killers wreaked havoc on a family of six in Adamo, Imota, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, killing a couple – Taofiq Agbaje and Simiat Agbaje – and two of their four children, Rodiat and Toyeebat.
On May 30, the gang attacked a family on Olaiya Close, Erunwen, Ikorodu. Again, a couple – Israel Olusanya, Rukayat Olusanya – and their children, Wale Olusanya and six-year-old Semilore Olusanya, were killed. The only survivor was a 15-year-old Senior Secondary School III pupil, Tolu Olusanya.
On June 10, 2017, the hoodlums broke the head of a pastor, Wale Solomon, in Lasunwon town. They killed a couple in Ogijo on June 23, 2017.
In the latest murder by the gang, which occurred on June 28, a family of five – Ike David, 50; Magret David, 28; Ike David (Jnr) 5; Matthew David, 4; and two-year-old Friday David – were all killed in their rented apartment at Olopomeji, Odogunyan.
While the couple and Ike (Jnr) died on the spot, Matthew and Friday gave up the ghost at the Ikorodu General Hospital.
The residents said the police and the state government were clueless on how to stop the attacks.
However, the spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Olarinde Famous-Cole, said the command had activated operational strategies, adding that some areas suspected to be hideouts of Badoo cult had been identified.
He said, “There are a series of operations going on to ascertain various areas that are prone to attacks in the Ikorodu area. Hideouts and criminal black spots have been identified and moves to hit these criminals are being conducted as we speak.
“Based on the reliable intelligence we got from community leaders, the Oodua People’s Congress and Onyabo, we will tackle these criminals and put a complete stop to their activities.
“Continuous meetings with the relevant stakeholders in the area and in the state generally are being encouraged for credible information. The command urges members of the public to come forward to help in intelligence gathering that can aid security agencies.”
He promised to get back on the number of deaths.
It was also learnt that recently, scores of Ikorodu residents have mobilised themselves against the ritual gang, as whistleblowers and drummers now go round at night, reminding them to turn off their generators and remain vigilant.