No fewer than 18 persons have been killed in a rival cult war in Benin and its environs in Edo State on Friday.
An Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP, name withheld), who is in charge of one of the two area commands in Benin, and two other policemen were shot in the exchange of bullets by members of Aye and Eiye cults.
The officers are in critical condition at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
Many other people were injured, from stray bullets and others falling down while running for their lives.
Innocent people were also caught in the cross fire.
Business outlets had closed down quickly as a result of consistent shootings in the area while esidents stayed indoors and the streets were deserted.
According to an eye witnesss, the ACP and the two other policemen, were shot in the early hours of yesterday on Murtala Muhammed Way, close to Third East Circular Road Junction in the Sokponba axis of Benin.
The three police officers were shot by the cultists, while on a rescue operation in the hot zone.
Soldiers were deployed in the troubled areas of Benin, especially Upper Sokponba, Idogbo and Three House Junction.
Recall that, hoodlums, who hijacked the #EndSARS protests in Benin, attacked the Maximum Correctional Centre (White House) on Sapele Road and the Medium Correctional Centre on Airport Road, both in Benin, releasing 1,993 inmates, mostly cultists.
It was gathered that one of the leaders of the cult groups was buried yesterday, and after, to show respect to their departed leader, they went on rampage.