Cult clashes leave mechanic, carpenter dead in Benin


In what is suspected to be a renewed cult clash, unknown gunmen have killed a mechanic in the Oguola/Artillery Road area of Benin City, Edo State.

The victim identified as Emmanuel Michael was said to be attending to one of his customers in his mechanic workshop located at Osasogie Street when the gunmen struck.

The incident, according to inquiries by PREMIUM TIMES, happened at about 6.20 p.m. on Wednesday.

This is coming less than 24 hours after an unidentified furniture maker (carpenter) was killed by gunmen at his Aragua Street workshop, off Wire road in the Edo State capital.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt on Thursday from one of the vehicle owners, Freeborn Utake, who was around the workshop when the mechanic was killed, that the gunmen shot sporadically into the air before going straight to their target to kill him.

Mr Utake said residents around the area attributed the action to be cult-related, adding that the gunmen continued shooting into the air as they escaped from the scene of the incident.

He said, “The gun-wielding men stormed the mechanic shop at about 6.20 pm on Wednesday. Upon noticing that he was their target, the assailants immediately went straight to the said Emmanuel Michael and fired several gunshots into his head, killing him on the spot.

“Before then, they shot sporadically into the air to scare residents before firing their target at close range. The gunmen later went berserk in the area as they were said to have engaged in a manhunt looking for more persons to kill.

“The situation forced the residents to flee the area while owners of shops quickly locked up and fled. It took the intervention of the Edo State Joint Security Team to restore normalcy in the area.”

Carpenter’s death

Meanwhile, the gory picture of a middle-aged artisan identified as Papa Mali trended on social media late Tuesday.

The deceased, a furniture maker, was reportedly shot dead by some unknown gunmen at Okabere Road in the Upper Sakponba area of Benin City.

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There were indications that his death was cult-related, according to a resident in the area who simply identified himself as Felix.

READ ALSO: Two dead after cult clash in Ondo

He said the gunmen, who stormed the workshop at about 3.30 pm on December 29, went straight to Papa Mali and dragged him out before pumping several gunshots into his body.

“The assailants later fired some gunshots into the air to scare the people in the locality who eventually took to their heels to avoid stray bullets. They waited patiently for the man to die before they left the scene. We believe that this has to do with cult-related matter,” he said.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, said he had not been briefed of the incidents.

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