By Victor Gotevbe
Why a once peaceful and adored Satellite town, in Oriade Local Development Council Area of Lagos State has now become a den of hoodlums and notorious cult groups, who without restriction maim, kill and silence their perceived enemies, is beyond what meets the eyes.
Worst is the fact that these cultists go about their nefarious activities openly and recklessly, because they are backed up by some so-called highly connected god-fathers parading themselves as Political leaders and successful business people.
The insecurity- unrest, fear, unwarranted loss of lives and property caused by the unholy activities of these cultists in Satellite Town, calls for immediate and lasting solutions.
As a matter of fact, it is high time Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, declared a state of emergency in Satellite Town, as the unholy havoc these cultists wreck in the community have turned our beloved Satellite Town into a ghost town. A ghost town, where residents who are yet to leave for other communities continue to live in perpetual fear.
Annoyingly, several times, were the Police have arrested these notorious cultists via Save Our Soul (SOS) calls from residents, before you say Jack Robinson, they are let out of the police net, as their god-fathers come to their rescue.
These sad incidents make it difficult for residents to rely on the Police for their safety.
For most residents residing in Satellite Town, including Yours Truly, we are already burdened with the deplorable state of the roads and erratic power supply. Hence, it becomes quite expensive to afford private security services.
Worst still, daily, children and youths are initiated as members of these notorious and violent cult groups. They are most times forced willy nilly to swear oaths of secrecy and acceptance of various orders from the groups without questions.
This creates fanatical members who have been subjected to psychological, intellectual and spiritual terrorism. They even boast about it to other young people that they are covered and protected belonging to these cult groups in the community.
Many murders within the community have been traced to these notorious cultists who unfortunately, still move about freely.
Security agents know them and have in the past arrested some of them. Where are the likes of Tiny, Saminto, Gentle Breeze and so on?
They still parade the streets of Satellite Town in broad daylight with some of their foot soldiers while they work on their next victims. Robbery has become a daily occurrence; houses and shops are burgled, and victims are left to suffer from psychological torture.
Many women are raped at gunpoint. These women are not able to share their mental torture from the ugly experiences. The society does not even help but would rather stigmatize them more.
One needs to see how before dark several residents close their businesses and hurry back home for fear of being attacked by these miscreants who waylay their victims. Yours Truly has been a victim.
Sometime in 2016, just two months after a 16 years old cultist was arrested by the police and he made some useful confessional statements, the Lagos State Police Command confirmed that one Corporal Babatunde attached to Mopol 23 was killed by unknown gunmen in Satellite Town area of the state on Good Friday (March 25, 2016).
Corporal Babatunde was an anti-riot police man and he was shot dead by two gunmen on a motorcycle walking along the road.
The Police claimed it was going to investigate the murder, but there was no substantial update made available to the public. Imagine an officer of the law was killed in broad daylight and nothing happened thereafter. So, how can the residents of this community protect themselves?
Another sad account is that of a promising Nigerian talent named Attah Aboi murdered by a rival cult gang on (Thursday, November 29, 2018). It was reported that Attah was a footballer who had also joined Eiye Confraternity, a deadly cult group and he was gunned down around 10pm in Satellite Town by his friends who were in another secret cult, called ‘Aro Baggars.’ Even his plea to spare his life while on his knees fell on deaf ears. That was the end of Attah.
This again was another talent plucked out of the face of the earth by these cultists. What has been the outcome other than empty promises by security agencies that they would bring the perpetrators to book.
Youngsters from age 10 and above are already cultists or about to be initiated into these dangerous secret cults. Many parents fear that their children may have been initiated as members and may never reveal their true identity for fear of being killed owing to their oath of secrecy. Even if they summon the courage to expose their activities, they come after the whole family. And the penalty is death.
Young and innocent girls are raped rampantly by these violent cultists and they still raise their shoulders high as they move about freely. Take them to the Police Force Headquarters, they are released after a while as monies exchange hands.
Their sponsors know how to get them out and would always tell them to get out of circulation for a while. When it looks like the situation is calm, they show up again.
The sad thing is the moment you are marked by them and you decide to flee the community for safety to other parts of Lagos or around the country, they strategize through their networks to still execute their evil deeds against their marked victim.
Therefore, I urgently call on the LASG to rapidly respond to this call and declare a state of emergency in Satellite Town before we lose more lives and properties to these violent cultists, sponsored by greedy and self-serving politicians, with tacit support from the security agencies.
It is said a stitch in time saves nine.
Victor Gotevbe is a Media Consultant. He writes from Satellite Town, Lagos
Article first published January 2019