A violent, new cult gang has emerged in Lagos, Nigeria – they take the “Badoo” and have killed at least 20 people, including women and babies, in a series of deadly attacks on innocent families.
The Badoo cult operates in the Ikorodu area of the Lagos Mega-City – see map below – but to find out who the Badoo gang are, our BattaBox presenter Timothy had to find eye-witnesses willing to talk, and follow their trail of destruction and murder.
The home of the first family killed by the Badoo is now abandoned and empty.
“My phone rang, to say something was wrong, and when we got to the home – we saw the whole family wiped out,” explains Funsho Akintimehin, the local chairman. “How can they kill a whole family? No one knows.”
And the killings are brutal. Police reports tell of how gang often use stones and clubs to smash their victims heads, and often they rape their female victims. Witnesses explained to BattaBox the gang usually target houses in sequestered areas where wailing of the victims would not be heard.
The Badoo cult then use white handkerchiefs to soak and take the blood of victims. The ritualistic gesture depicts that a cleaning has taken place and the blood is taken to the godfathers of the cult.
“The gang use the stones and pestles exactly as they have been instructed, because they know, if they don’t use the weapons exactly as instructed, they may not achieve their ritual,” explains Khalifat Karatu, a local herb seller in Ikorodu market.
Statue at alledged Badoo shrine seized in a police raid.
The police and authorities have made numerous arrests across the city, including alleged kingpins and traditional rulers, but often locals take matters into their own hands to defend themselves. At night, fear has struck the inhabitants of Ikorodu and neighbouring areas as no one knows who might be the next victims of the Badoo gang.
“This Badoo gang is killing us, so any one of them that we catch – we will kill them,” explains Funsho Akintimehin, the local chairman
“We are not happy, they cannot be assassinating people like this, it’s not fair,” says one neighbour to a family killed by the Badoo gang.
The graves are still fresh for the families, but many of the victims are used in juju rituals by the Badoo gang, and their body parts used in charms to gain spiritual power. White handkerchiefs are used to take the blood of the victims.
The name of the gang is thought to originate from Nigeria’s pidgin slang – “to be bad.”
“People join the gang and kill for reasons ranging from money rituals to longevity of life, to the revival of one’s soul, or seeking recognition,” explains Khalifat Karatu, the local herb seller in Ikorodu market.
Whatever the cult’s reasons, despite the arrests by police, and community protests – these seem like only the beginning of the Badoo killings in Nigeria as new stories emerge of new attacks and murders on an almost weekly basis.