A 20-year-old labourer identified as Sunday has drowned while trying to escape being initiated by cultists in Lake View estate, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.
The cultist gang known as Icelander Confraternity have reportedly been terrorising the neighbourhood for a while, grabbing young men and forcing them into getting initiated into the cult. Young men who refuse to be initiated are reportedly told to leave the estate or face death.
On one of such nights, on Sunday, the cultists reportedly stormed the estate and grabbed some young men, leading them to the waterside. The deceased and his friend, Alabi, were one of those taken.
At the scene, a member of the gang called Tunde intimidated the victims with a gun, threatening to shoot them if they refused to get initiated. Sunday was adamant and he was pushed by one of the members of the gang, causing him to jump into the river where he drowned.
Alabi took advantage of the commotion caused by the death of his friend to escape and he returned to the estate to alert them of what transpired and they, in turn, alerted the police.
When the police from the Festac division arrived, the bloated body of Sunday which was found floating on the water surface was retrieved but his family refused to hand him over for an autopsy and revealed they intend to bury him by the river.
The police have combed the entire neighbourhood for the gang members who fled the scene immediately after the initiation backfired, but so far, none of them have been found.
Residents narrated their ordeal in the hands of the cultists who have been terrorizing them, revealing that most families have had to send their sons away from the neighborhood to save them from initiation. The cult group reportedly parade themselves as members of the OPC.
According to Vanguard, Sunday and Alabi became targets for the gang after two of their friends gave in and joined. This led the gang to begin targeting the others in Sunday’s circle.
A resident Spoke on the events leading up to the attack and the attack itself, saying;
“Few days before Sunday’s demise, they (cultists) came to where Sunday and his friends were and ordered them to stand up and follow them. They obeyed but someone intervened on their behalf and they were allowed to go.
But when they came back on Monday, there was no body to intervene for them. They took Sunday and Alabi straight to the waterside where they started beating them.
“We were told that when Sunday jumped into the river, the cultists were still hauling stones at him, instead of helping him out. They watched him drown. But for Alabi’s decision to escape, he would have been shot dead because he said Tunde asked them to say their last prayer since they refused to voluntarily join Icelander.”