The killing of a couple and two of their three children at Olopomeji, Odogunyan in the Ikorodu area of Lagos state by suspected Badoo cultists is the latest in a string of brutal murders by the group. Residents of the area are now deeply concerned for their lives as the Police and Lagos state government remain silent about the killings or a means of dealing with the deadly group.
According to reports, the family – Ike David, 50; Margret David, 28; Ike David, 5; Matthew David, 4; and two-year-old Friday David– were reportedly attacked around 1am on Wednesday.
It is not yet clear how and why the group selects its victims, who are mostly families. It is also not clear what their motivation is. But, there are speculations that the killings are for ritual purposes (the act of killing one or more human beings, usually as an offering to a deity, as part of a ritual..) and one thing that is indisputable is the savagery of the killings. They are known to use blunt objects such as a pestle or stones to smash the heads of their victims.
Presently, residents of Ikorodu are living in fear of the dreaded group who tend to strike at will, some believing the police have been overwhelmed. A resident of the community known as Mariam told Punch Newspapers she has concluded that the police is helpless.
“The government should help us. policemen cannot secure our community. The government should engage vigilance groups to protect us. We can no longer sleep with our two eyes closed,” she stated.
Recently, Lagos state commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni mandated Divisional Police Officers in Ikorodu to use all the resources at their disposal to fish out members of the Badoo cult group. These newest murders mean that either the police does not have the resources or it has not used all the resources in its disposal to unravel those behind the killings.
Residents have decided not to wait for the police or Lagos state government anymore. After these latest killings, it was reported that residents of the community besieged the palace of the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba Adewale Shotobi to seek for a solution.
One of the protesters, Jackson Ode, said they were at the monarch’s place to get explanations about why the group has continued to terrorize members of the community. “We want explanations on why Badoo operates unhindered. The killings must stop,” he said.
The message is clear, the government and security agencies have either abandoned residents of Ikorodu or it really does not have a plan to terminate the operations of the Badoo cult.
This inaction of the Police and Lagos state government in arresting members of the group has forced residents to resort to jungle justice. Early this month, an angry mob lynched and burnt a suspected Badoo cultist despite an attempted rescue by the police and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
A few weeks later four suspected members of the gang were also lynched by an angry mob. According to residents who captured the scene of the jungle justice on video, the gang members were apprehended following the murder of a family of four in the Oke-Igbodo, Adamo area of Ikorodu.
Unfortunately, the wrong people were killed. It has been confirmed that the four people lynched were not members of the gang. They were land speculators who were falsely accused by aggrieved members of the community.
The Police and other security agencies need to rise up to their responsibility of providing security for this community. In fact, at this point, the community requires regular surveillance by the Police. The government and community leaders ought to engage with the community in order to identify gang members and their sponsors. There’s also a need for the state government to support the Police by providing necessary logistics to help them track and arrest this deadly group.
The activities of the Badoo cult group needs to be nipped in the bud before it spreads to other parts of the state.