A renewed cult clash between members of Eiye and Black Axe confraternities have reportedly claimed the lives of 17 persons in Benin City, the Edo state capital.
The killings which started on Monday took a worrisome dimension between Tuesday and Wednesday night following the death of 12 persons at the notorious Upper Sakponba road and M. M Way.
Blueprint gathered that the confraternity groups engaged in the violence to mark one year anniversary of the killing of two rival leaders in Eiye and Aye last year.
Policemen from Ugbekun and Esigie police divisions were said to have raided persons believed to be traders and artisans at 3rd junction and environs on Wednesday.
The State police spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor said: “the police can do a random raid and thereafter screen the suspects and release the ones that are not involved in the incidents.”
In a related development, the Edo state government has condemned the spike in cult-related killings in the state even as it cautioned that government will not condone any act of violence.
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said it has become expedient to sound a note of warning to anyone disrupting public peace and safety, noting that security agencies will spare no resources in bringing violators to book.
According to him, “We are working closely with the Nigeria Police Force and other relevant security agencies in the state to arrest the rise in cult clashes. We assure that these clashes will be contained.”