Suspected ritual cult, Badoo, terrorising Ikorodu and environs in Lagos State has struck again, killing a couple and two of their three children at Olopomeji, Odogunyan.
The family – Ike David, 50; Margret David, 28; Ike David (Jnr), 5; Matthew David, 4; and two-year-old Friday David– were reportedly attacked around 1am on Wednesday.
While the father, a motorcycle rider, Margret and Ike Jnr died on the spot, Matthew gave up the ghost at the Ikorodu General Hospital, where Friday, who had gone into a coma, was also admitted.
The victims were said to be from the Oju Local Government Area of Benue State.
With the Wednesday attack, the group had struck in Ikorodu three times within two weeks.
In the two previous incidents, the hoodlums broke the head of a pastor in Lasunwon town, opposite Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu. They killed a couple in Ogijo.
We learnt on Wednesday that the assailants had scaled the fence of a building on Aliu Akinsanya Street, Olopomeji, where the family lived with their landlord.
The gang members reportedly entered through a door to the Davids’ apartment and proceeded to the bedroom where the victims slept, smashing a stone on their heads.
It was gathered that the killers locked the main entrance door to the building from outside and went to two other houses, but were unsuccessful.
The landlord, Jude Nwachukwu, who said he was asleep throughout the attack, told our correspondent that he sensed something was amiss around 6am when he wanted to go out and could not open the door.
He said, “I knocked at the door of the family’s apartment, but there was no response. I called a neigbour opposite our house. The neighbour’s child broke the padlock they used to lock the door from outside.
“The boy told me that the gang also came to their house, but nobody was injured. He said they left the stone on their premises and fled. I went to knock at the door again without getting any response. I opened their door and found them in a pool of blood.”
The neigbour, Caroline Orji, said a member of the gang, who appeared naked, was about to attack her husband when he woke up and raised the alarm.
She said, “We suddenly saw a man naked in our bedroom around 1am with a big stone. As he wanted to smash it on my husband, he shouted Jesus, and the man ran out. He dropped the stone on the premises, scaled the fence and escaped. Some policemen took the stone with them.”
A resident, who identified herself simply as Mariam, said the spate of the attacks suggested that the police were overwhelmed.
“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 added.
The deceased’s relative, Bernabas Adama, described the deaths as devastating, adding that he was sleeping when the landlord came to inform him about the incident.
“On getting to the apartment, I found the couple and Ike (Jnr) dead. We rushed Matthew and Friday to the general hospital. Matthew died in the afternoon. Friday is still unconscious and the hospital said he might be referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital,” he added.
A member of Onyabo, a vigilance group in the community, Morufu Ojoge, said the gang also attacked the house of a former leader of Onyabo called Terror, but did not succeed.
He added that the group and its counterpart, the Oodua People’s Congress, were ready to work with security agencies if they were mobilised.
Following the attack, hundreds of residents stormed the palace of the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, to express their anger over the incessant killings in the community.
One of the protesters, Jackson Ode, said it was time the monarch and government brought the menace to an end.
He said, “We want explanations on why Badoo operates unhindered. The killings must stop.”
A woman, Adewunmi Ojoge, said, “We have several factional Baales in Odogunyan. The kabiyesi (Ayangbure) said no representative from Odogunyan had come to his palace for discussion on Badoo attacks. He told us to be vigilant and that he had met with the relevant authorities on the way forward.”
The monarch was said to be in a meeting when our correspondent called to speak with him on the incident.
However, a spokesperson for the palace, who did not disclose his name, said the monarch had initiated actions to complement the efforts of security agencies in bringing the attack to an end.
He said, “The protesters came and the kabiyesi had spoken to them accordingly. We have got in touch with all the relevant security agencies and vigilantes. All the traditionalists in Ikorodu have come together to do sacrifices and they will go on a day-time rally today (Wednesday) and a night rally on Thursday (today).”
A police source disclosed that OPC and Onyabo leaders met with top officers at the Lagos State Police Command on Wednesday to deliberate on Badoo.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said the police, the military and private security outfits were jointly working to apprehend the culprits and ensure safety of the residents.
“There was an incident involving a family of four in the community. There is a survivor. The command is on the trail of the culprits,” he added.