There was heavy shooting in the Gbaemu area of Osogbo, Osun State, on Sunday, as policemen attached to the Operation Puff Adder clashed with suspected cultists, who were trying to extort money from workers at a construction site in the area.
The suspected cultists, numbering about 20, allegedly stormed the area to demand money from those working on the building project site.
While negotiations between the suspects and the workers were going on, it was gathered that a police van drove by and the policemen in the vehicle ordered the suspected cultists to leave.
It was learnt that the policemen were mobbed by the suspects, but reinforcement arrived at the scene shortly after and the men were dislodged.
Two of the suspects were said to have been arrested and taken away by the police.
An eyewitness said, “The incident caused panic. Several shots were fired in the air by the police to dislodge the cultists. The shooting was heavy and many motorists plying the Station Road had to make a detour to avoid being hit by bullets. Some traders, who had opened, hurriedly shut their shops.
“A PoS operator, who the cultists suspected was recording them, was attacked. They looted his shop and his money was stolen. The suspects later fled towards Oja Oba when more policemen arrived at the scene. But two of them were arrested and taken away in a police van.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the spokesperson for the state police command, Yemisi Opalola, proved abortive as calls to her mobile phone rang out. She had yet to respond to a message sent to her on the incident as of the time of filing this report.