With the rising cases of mysterious killings claimed to have been carried out by a blood-thirsty cult group known as Badoo in Ikorodu, both residents and security agents have been saddled with the onerous task of ending the reign of the gang. Is respite near for Ikorodu residents? TUNDE BUSARI and OLALEKAN OLABULO write on the frustrations and fear of the people.
The huge human presence that characterises Ikorodu— edged on the south by the Lagos lagoon, to the east sharing a boundary with Agbowa-Ikosi, a major town in Epe division, and to the north in Ogun State— has remained threatened in the last few weeks. Nothing else but the twin indices of frustration and fear aptly capture the overall mood that stretches from Owode Ibeshe, Oke Odo, Itamaga, Agbowa, First Gate, Odogunyan to Ogijo. The growing reach and killing spree of a new wave of crime, codenamed Badoo, have continually unsettled both residents of Ikorodu and security agents. The new but unfortunate approach by which the marauders send their victims to the great beyond involves a ritual killing process whereby the heads of the victims are smashed with a grinding stone after which the blood spilled is collected.
No longer at ease
The repeated attacks which leave in its wake dead casualties involving families are bizarre. Nigerian Tribune reliably gathered that from 2014 till date, no fewer than 500 residents of Ikorodu have lost their lives to the escapades of armed robbers, pipeline vandals, ritualists and kidnappers who use the Ikorodu waterways to abduct their victims, some of whom never returned alive. Ikorodu residents argue that unlike regular armed robbers who operate with guns to either scare or harm their victims depending on the circumstance, the Badoo gang has a modus operandi that beats the imagination of all, ranking it as one of the most dreadful gang of criminals with an insatiable appetite for human blood.
Findings by the Nigerian Tribune reveal two versions of the gang’s mode of operations. While the first version describes the members of the gang as elusive by appearing naked with their bodies drenched in oil with the aim of shielding their identity, the second version paints a picture of an aggressive gang inflicting harm on any security guards standing on their ways.
The two versions, however, are of the consensus that gang members do not shoot their victims with guns but smash their heads with a pestle or grinding stone.
“Those people who are close to the victims claim that Badoo sells the blood-stained handkerchief to the sponsors of the crime. But I don’t know how far it is true,” one Akin who operates a barber’s salon along Sagamu road told our correspondent.
Between June 2016 and June 2017, more than twenty people, mostly children and women had been killed by suspected members of the group in Ibeshe, Eyita, Igbigbo, Ogijo, Adamo, Agbowa and Odongunyan yet not a single person has been able to identify the culprit of the dastardly act.
Not up to three months after the killings started, a suspect, who was identified by residents of Ibeshe as Badoo was arrested and lynched with the hope that with his death marked the end of the killings. It was however surprising that even when the alleged Badoo had been killed, the mysterious killing did not only continue but spread to other communities in Ikorodu.
According to reports, one or two people are not often the targets of the gang as it relishes in killing all members of the families it visits. Recently at Olopomeji, Odongunyan axis of the town, a couple, Ike David, his 28-year-old wife, Margaret and their two children were wiped off by the gang in the middle of the night. Three other families were also visited the same time with the lucky ones sustaining injuries and on admission in the hospital.
As it was in their past escapades, the suspected killers escaped and left behind a tale of woe in the neighborhood. The incident, which occurred precisely on Wednesday, June 29, ignited the anger of other residents who allegedly harassed the police team from Sagamu road divisional Headquarters and the men of Department of Security Services (DSS) when they later visited the scene.
“On that day, the police knew that the residents were desperate to take a pound of flesh from whomever they suspect is not helping their matter. They are all living in fear for the past two years when the Badoo group began to disturb the public peace,” another source narrated.
With the killings followed spates of public condemnation which saw residents spoiling for war, ensuring and devising safety measures and lynching whoever is suspected to be involved. Worried by the endless killings by the Badoo members , the state commissioner of police , Fatai Owoseni held a series of meeting with traditional institutions in the town , led by the Ayangburen of Ikorodu , Oba Kabiru Shotobi, where he warned that any traditional ruler, who is found wanting in connection with Badoo killings would be squarely dealt with in accordance with the law.
The Ayangbunren of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Sotobi decidedly towed a traditional intervention in conjunction with orthodox faithful in the town. A traditionalist, Ambali Adehun, who claimed to have participated in the procession staged at the weekend, said the Ayangbunren’s action was a welcomed development.
Appraising the spiritual angle to the matter, the Araba of Osogbo, Ifayemi Elebuibon threw his weight behind the option, which, he said, ought to have been explored long before the crime grew out of hands. Elebuibon maintained that the priests in the town needed to make consultation to know the root of the matter and what to do to solve it.
“What the traditional ruler has just done is a way to find lasting solution to the matter and I am very sure the solution is here. Consultation will reveal whether there is an appeasement to do or there is a taboo long forgotten in the town responsible for the problem. When this finding is done and sacrifices are made, evil forces causing the problem would be eliminated from the town,” he said.
A resident of Igbogbo who simply identified himself as Otepola, while speaking with the Nigerian Tribune narrated that “It all started when a teacher was killed by some unknown persons around Oke Ota community in Ibeshe. Nobody had an idea of what prompted the killing. The perpetrators of the act only left an inscription ‘Badoo’ on the wall of the house. Nobody thought of that word at that time.
The post With Badoo, it’s one long nightmare for Ikorodu residents appeared first on Tribune.