Of the Badoo Cult and the Peace of Ikorodu I
ContEarly life in Ikorodu
I grew up in Ikorodu in the early 1990s at a time when it was safe for little children to play miles away from home. Then, young and naive, I would adventurously sneak out of home with some other rascal boys in the neighbourhood. We would ride our own invented bicycles - a cylindrical aluminum rim flogged to command by light rods made from steel shirt hangers. We would tour the then tiny town, barefooted, picking up all manner of useful rubbishes from every corner of the street.
Saturdays were joyful days. No school. As soon as we ate the morning meals, we would hit the streets. We didn't have the luxury of visiting a swimming pool but, luckily, we had the Majidun river not too far away. So, we had the routine of visiting the Majidun river on Saturdays. Children who knewnot how to swim would play at the bank while the experts would swim above twelve or more feets. By noon, our eyes would have become as red as blood and our bodies as white as milk. And to avoid being detected at home for daring to swim at the dreaded Majidun river, we would comb our hairs, Vaseline our bodies and switch to football. At least, playing soccer attracted a less severe punishment than swimming in the Majidun river.
On rainy evenings, we would storm the rain in wild excitement dancing naked and singing gleefully like soon-to-be-freed prisoners. We enjoyed great freedom, wild freedom, and our parents and guardians did not fear kidnappers, did not fear murderers, did not fear armed robbers, for there was no such things and people. We were like air on the soil of Ikorodu; harm did not come to us. This was many, many years ago. But, sadly, the story has changed today. Children and adults, overshadowed by insecurity, are now too afraid to leave their gates in broad daylight.
Very recently, the beautiful town of Ikorodu has transformed into a warzone, perhapsa synonym for hell. Criminal elements are at the verge of overrunning the once peaceful town, planting crimes carelessly hither and thither like the farmer in the famous Parable of the Sower. In the last one year, Ikorodu has witnessed numberless cases of kidnapping, rape, cult clashes, armed robbery, oil pipeline vandalism, cybercrimes, etc. However, none of these dreadful crimes has frightened the residents of Ikorodu more than the terror unleashed on the town by the ruthless Badoo cult group.
The Badoo cult is believed to be a ragtag killer group which started about a year ago at Ibeshe area of Ikorodu. The Badoo cult has become notorious for targeting and attacking at midnights, families living at secluded buildings. They smash the skull of their victims with either mortars or big stones, wipe off their blood with white kerchiefs and rape the female victims brutishly. More than ten families have been wiped out by members of the Badoo cult group in the past six months alone, although newspaper sources put the death toll at 26.
The bush telegraph has it that before an attack is executed, members of the Badoo cult, who usually operate stark naked, lubricate their bodies with engine oil to make it slippery and difficult for them to be apprehended by vigilant residents. The Bush telegraph also suggests that members of the cult group go around with a deadly gas chemical which, when released, knocks anyone who inhales it into a coma, a coma so strong that the victim's bosoms or penis may be sliced off while the victim remains asleep.
A closer look at the pattern of attacks carried out by members of the Badoo cult would reveal a lot which, when examined critically, would turn this essay into a book. And since this writer does not intend to write a book on this topic, only three obvious patterns of Badoo attacks will be considered.
First, it appears that members of the Badoo cult only attack isolated buildings, preferably uncompleted buildings occupied by a single household. More than two-third of their attacks has followed this pattern. No doubts, the cult group prefers these kind of buildings and households because they are soft targets, targets that may not get help from neighbours when in crisis.
Second, the Badoo cult appears to attack buildings without the luxury of basic security facilities such as burglar bars and iron doors. This gives the cult members the opportunity of gaining easy access to their victims whom they slaughter and maim while in the peaceful embrace of sleep.
Third, the Badoo cult group have only attacked families with less than two adult males. The faceless cult group wants little or no resistance, so they prefer to attack households with more women and children. As a matter of fact, Badoo has never killed more than one adult male per attack.100% of Badoo attacks have followed this pattern.
It is comprehensible when soldiers kill in war, when a teenage girl kills her fatherless new born baby,when people kill to revenge or when an assassin kills his target and disappears. But it is incomprehensible when a group rapes and kills a woman, crushes the skulls of her husband and her innocent children and crawls into the dark, naked. It become even more prodigious and portentous when a group attacks a pregnant woman, split her open, collects the foetus, smash the skull of her husband and collects the milky brain in his head. It is barbaric, you say. Following the pattern of Badoo killings, the residents of Ikorodu believes that Badoo kills for ritual purposes.
The above view was further reinforced by a recent interview granted Chief Ganiu Adams, a national leader of the Odua's People's Congress, OPC. Ganiu Adams revealed that members of the Badoo cult were recruited by some powerful people in Lagos State, given adequate motivations and assurances and are afterwards sent to kill, to maim, to dish death. For every person killed, Ganiu Adams alleges, a bounty of about 1.5 million naira is paid to the killer. Incredible? The matter cannot be determined for now because no Badoo suspect has been lawfully handed to the police; residents have themselves become notorious for lynching suspected Badoo members - an act which questions the humanity and sanity of the lynchers.
Ademule David, a student of human society and crime, lives and writes from Lagos where he goes about carrying his magical pen in his pockets.
PS: The second and last part of this article, already published, examines the responses of the Lagos State Government and practical security steps to eliminate the Badoo cult.