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“People are killed here and there, and the government is boasting about its prowess in security, what that means is that cult related activities and killing of members of rival cult were not part of security challenges.”
In just two weeks, a battle of supremacy between two cult groups claimed 16 persons. David-Chyddy Eleke reports that those killed were all young people, who at best can be described as the leaders of tomorrow
From Awka to Onitsha, Nkpor and Obosi, all in Anambra State, cultism has become a way of life for young people. This has further fueled illicit drug consumption, and the use of other substances to attain some level of highness that permits them indulge in untoward behaviours.
In Awka, the state capital, the battle for superiority between the Vikings Confraternity and the Black Axe is yet to abate. Our correspondent who traced the beginning of the battle learnt that it all began after a traditional festival of Awka kingdom, known as Egwu Imo Awka Festival, which took place in the month of May. Within just two weeks of the battle, 16 persons, from both sides have been felled.
At UNIZIK junction, a popular location in the capital city, a young boy of 20, named Chinedu (not real name) had just arrived the ever busy junction, where his Aunty sold food, and not long after, a group of five boys were said to have accosted him. As they discussed, one may mistake them to be his friends, but unknown to passersby, Chinedu had been held hostage. They walked him down the road to a less busy spot, before one of the boys drew a gun and felled him instantly, leaving him in the pool of his blood, while they fled.
It was under such condition that both groups worked, identifying and killing members of the opposite cult for two weeks. A source, who pleaded to remain anonymous told THISDAY that what seemed good was that even though the boys were killing each other, they never tampered with anyone who was not a member of the rival cult. “They have to identify the person sufficiently, and be sure he was a member of the opposing cult, before they struck.
“They usually moved in groups once night fell, seeking out the members of the opposite group. What is even more amazing was that these were young people who were still living with their parents, so what they benefited from being members of the cult is what I do not know,” the source lamented.
In Obosi, another community in the state, which has also become synonymous with drugs and gun battles, the police and men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have had real task keeping up with the culprits, as both security agencies have also confessed to the troubles it undergoes keeping drug peddlers in check, and also tackling cult related activities.
Recently, Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Garba Umar paraded 35 cultists who were arrested in different locations in the state especially in Awka and Obosi communities. The commissioner raised alarm over the increase in cult related activities in the state. He called on parents to perform their function by taming their children as the command may commence charging them to court for murder.
Some of the suspected cultists paraded by the commissioner include; Chukwudi Machie; 34, Chukwudi Igwebueze; 32, Onyeka Igbanugo; 28, Ifeanyi Anazoba; 32 and Chukwuemeka Nwokoye; 32 among others. Machie in an interview with journalists gave a shocking hint, when he confessed that most of the commercial motorcyclists and tricycle operators in the capital city were all members of one cult group or the other. He said, “Over 92 per cent of young people in Awka and environ are members of one secret cult or the other. We recruit them young.”
The suspects who were described by the commissioner as hardened and dangerous all aged between 20 and 35 years old. The Commissioner explained that the suspects were arrested in various locations, while items recovered from them also varied. One of the groups had items such as one AK 47 riffle, one bareta English pistol, two locally made double barrel pistol, one single barrel short gun, 15 rounds of 7.62 live ammunition, three cartridges and a red Toyota Matrix car snatched from its owner at Benin city, Edo State, all recovered from them.
Another group of cultists who were also arrested and paraded a day after consisted of four persons, and were described by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Haruna Mohammed as very notorious and have also been in their wanted list.
Mohammed said, “In continuation of the ongoing ‘operations stem the tide of cultism in the state’, the Command has on the 6/5/2018 at about 1700hrs arrested four additional suspects including the most wanted cultists in Okija, one Chidebere Idogulu alias “sinner man” of Aro Cult group and Azubuike Idogulu alias “dead man” of Baga cult group. The operations are still ongoing while investigations are in progress after which suspects would be charged to court for prosecution.”
Umar reiterated that his command would not fold its arm and watch while cultists wreaked havoc on the city, threatening to arrest and charge suspects with murder if parents and guardians failed to play their role of leading their wards aright.
The development THISDAY gathered has become a serious headache of the state government, as the activities of cultists were almost putting a dent on the achievement of the Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, which chief among them was security. A resident of Awka capital territory, and a lawyer, Barr Gerald Eke said if the killing continued, Obiano may find it difficult boasting about his achievement in security. He said, “People are killed here and there, and the government is boasting about its prowess in security, what that means is that cult related activities and killing of members of rival cult were not part of security challenges.”
In Enugu Ukwu however, the leaders of the community have acknowledged the havoc cultism, illicit drug and prostitution was causing on their youths, but instead of applying force, it decided that persuasion was a better way to make the youths change from their old ways.
There was jubilation in the community during an awareness campaign organised by the Enugwu Ukwu Community Development Union, headed the President General of the community, Hon Bonny Ozo Nkwuaku as five persons described as very notorious criminals, who are said to be on the wanted list of Anambra State Police Command submitted themselves to police authorities.
The suspected criminals were led to renounce their criminal ways by their leaders; Mr. Emmanuel Okafor, and Mr. Nnadozie Nnenwa both aged 26, and popularly known in the area as Ten Kobo and Uta respectively. The kingpins, who residents of the community said had been thorns in their flesh led their gang members out during the programme which featured lectures on the dangerous effects of illicit drug consumption, cultism, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and prostitution.
Okafor and Nnenwa who spoke on behalf of their gang members during the renunciation begged the community for forgiveness, pledging not to return to their old ways. They solicited with well-meaning people in the community to help them start something meaningful, saying that part of the reason they indulged in crime was joblessness.
The DPO of Enugwu Ukwu Police Division, Mr. Dan Uke who was at the event confessed that the suspects have been terrorising the area for a long time, and have also given his men cause for concern. He said, “When the PG brought Ten Kobo to my office early this morning, I was surprised that he accepted to come, because we have been looking for him. When I saw the look of remorse on his face, I told him I will not arrest him for accepting to come by himself, but I asked him to write an undertaking that he would not engage in crime again.”
The traditional ruler of the community who was represented by the traditional prime minister, Chief Clement Nwafor also expressed happiness at the programme and the renunciation of crime by the suspected criminals, urging youths to engage in meaningful ventures as a way to take their minds off crime.
The programme featured an awareness campaign, which saw youths of the community walking through major roads and sensitising all of the need to stay off vices.
The President General while reporting to the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Ralph Ekpeh earlier during a courtesy call shortly before the commencement of the programme said his leadership believed that only negotiation, dialogue and sound advice, rather than arrest and imprisonment can keep youths of the community off vices.
Nkwuaku said he and members of his executive thought out the programme and specifically sought out notorious criminals in the community whom they preached to, on the importance of living drug and crime free life.
He said, “I am particularly happy that this is happening under my watch as president general. We walked around the community and sensitised the people of the need to shun cultism, robbery, drug, prostitution and others. These suspected armed robbers who have been on police wanted list also received amnesty today as they have vowed they will not engage in crime again and if they fail, we will now bring to bear the full weight of the law.”
Nkwuaku said his executive had met and dialogued with prominent personalities in the community on the possible ways of rehabilitating the repented criminals. Mr. Oddy Akubuike, Chairman Enugwu Ukwu Youth Forum while corroborating Nkwuaku said, “We have mapped out ways of absorbing the youths that have renounced crime.
“We have bought WAEC forms for the ones that want to go to school, barbing equipments, and others which we will use to empower them. We have spoken with various prominent persons in the community and we are going to integrate them into the society through skills acquisition and empowerment.” He urged other communities to consider solving the insecurity problem in their domain by using soft approaches as it has done.
A young man suspected to be a cultist has been beheaded in Boki local government area of Cross River State.
The incident occurred on Sunday at Ogep-Osokom when two rivalry cult groups clashed.
An eyewitness, who gave her name as Jane Obi, said the clash was between Vickings and Black Axe.
“There was gunshot everywhere in the area. So many people sustained injuries and were rushed to private health facilities.
“Though the situation has been brought under control now, residents are still living in fear as some suspected cultists are brandishing guns and other dangerous weapons in the area.
“Everybody in the area lives in fear. We call on the security agents to intervene with a view to arresting suspected cultists in the area,” she appealed.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ms Irene Ugbo said she was not aware of the murder incident but admitted that several suspected cultists and kidnappers had been arrested in the state.
“The command has arrested several suspected cultists in the state. We have also in our custody alleged kidnappers and armed robbers.
“The commissioner of Police, Mohammed Inuwa Hafiz has given an order that investigations be conducted immediately with a view to prosecuting the alleged cultists, arm robbers and kidnappers,” she stated.
Warning: contains graphic image
The war is between two major rival cult groups known as Vikings and Black axe confraternity.
The Killer punch investigators say that the cult clash has Vikings killing three persons so far while Black Axe has killed just one person.
A source who pleaded anonymity said that one of the victim simply known as Bello (Ubong Etukakpan) met his untimely death while returning home to his residence alone Idua Road, Eket.
As at when our reporters visited Eket to ascertain reasons behind the renewed clash, no one was willing to offer information.
The current cult war is the third in five months that has claimed scores of lives.
The police appear to be helpless in the fight against the move to stop these killings, hence they are looking the other way as these killings does not look likely to stop soon.
A resident of Eket, Akwa Ibom State, said that the cult war may not soon be abated because the Black axe confraternity cult group has lost three of its members against one to Vikings.
This development have made pundits to believe that the oil producing Local Government Area is not safe for business and residence.
How the council Chairman Frank Archibong intends to fight this menace head on remains to be seen. For now those living and doing business in Eket cannot sleep with their eyes closed.
Governor Udom Emmanuel March restricted the riding of Motorcycles in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State from 6pm to 6pm.
According to a press statement by the Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh, the measure became necessary to tackle the rising tide of violent crimes like murder and kidnapping in the areas with the use of motorcycles.
But after much pressure from Eket Stakeholders, the governor had to suspend the exercise.
Efforts to reach the state Police Public Relations Officer on phone on what is happening in Eket prove abortive.
Meanwhile, The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Barrister Onofiok Luke has said that the easiest way to curb insecurity in the state is to positive engagement of youths.
The Speaker stated this during the 4th Annual Business, Technology and Creative Festival of Root hub Accelerator Systems held at Root Hub/Akees Plaza along Ibb Avenue, Uyo where he acted as chairman of the occasion.
According to him, “You can quote me anywhere; if you don’t engage the younger generation today, then we are in trouble tomorrow and the issue of insecurity in the state can be curbed through positive engagement of the youths.”
Barr. Luke also thanked the participants at the festival for putting up great exhibitions charging them to continue to think positively and remain creative and innovative as this will help put food on their table considering the dearth of white collar jobs while thanking Roothub for being an incubation center which will help shape ideas like theirs.
”I want to charge you all to be creative and innovative as it will help put food on your table especially now that white collar jobs are no more and I see a bright future in all of you and I must commend Roothub for being an incubation center for sound minds like yours”.
Onitsha – The leadership tussles between ‘Keke Napep’ and ‘Okada’ operators in Awka, the Anambra State that led to the death of 16 suspected cultists has been linked to leadership tussle among the groups.
Daily Independent gathered that one of the arrested suspects, Chukwudi Machie, a confessed member of the Black Axe Confraternity and vice chairman of Okada riders in Awka South Local Government Area gave this indication at the police headquarters in Awka.
Speaking to newsmen during a parade of the suspects, a 42-year old Machie revealed that the cult war was inspired by the struggle for the chairmanship position of the shuttle drivers in Awka South Anambra State.
According to him, he became the member of Black Axe at the University of Jos 15 years ago but renounced membership in his church 11 years ago.
Machie explained that he was co-opted to be part of moves to broker a truce between the two rival cults, Black Axe Confraternity and Supreme Vikings Confraternity when the fight started in January 2018.
In his word, “Not less than 90 per cent of the transporters in Awka are cultists. While ‘Keke’ people belong to one cult, Okada belongs to another,” he revealed.
Narrating further how he was approached by a man to step in and settle the crisis that later snowballed into a fierce fight that led to the death of many people in Awka.
Earlier in his speech, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Garba Baba Umar, said that the police command has reviewed its crime prevention strategies following the recent security threat posed by cult activities in the state.
Umar revealed that the Nigerian Police have “embarked on intensive patrol, aggressive raid of black spots, flashpoints and other criminal hideouts in order to nip in the bud all forms of crime and criminality in the state.”
The CP noted that the new measures and strategy put in place has resulted in the arrest of 35 suspected cultists within Awka, Obosi, Enugu-ukwu and Okija.
According to him, some of the suspects confessed to being members of Black Axe or Vikings Fraternity and have a direct link with the ongoing cult activities in Awka and the alleged murder of one Chukwudozie Patrick Nwosu, Sunday Nwaboko, Victor Omemma, Ifeanyi Ndubuisi and Nnamdi Anih at various areas within Awka metropolis.
While the names of the suspects that confessed to the murders were given as Chukwudi Machie, Chukwudi Igwebueze, Onyeka Igbanugo, Ifeanyi Anazoba and Chukwuemeka Nwokoye.
Other confessed cultists paraded were Arinze Chimezue, Junior Vikings; Obunabo Uba, Black Dagger; Elenem Victor, Black Dagger; Chinwuba Ugochukwu, Black Dagger; Okwuchukwu Okafor, Senior Vikings and Egwele Chibuokem, Junior Vikings.
Others are Okafor Chiemerie, Junior Vikings; Akametaru Chibuike, Junior Vikings; Okeke Chidubem, Junior Vikings; Ibeh Chimezie, Junior Vikings; Ezeokoli Izuchukwu, Black Axe; Aka Izuchukwu, Junior Vikings; Obighara Nzube; Junior Vikings and Ikueze Chibuzor, Junior Vikings.
Other members are Ezeokoli Chukwuebuka, Buccaneer; Nwabueze Chibuike, Junior Vikings; Ezeh Chukwuemeka, Black Axe. Others are Okwuchukwu Odilika, Buccaneer; Obi Chukwunonye, Junior Vikings; Udemmadu Obichukwu, Junior Vikings; Amobichukwu Izuogu, Coastal Marine Patrol; Ekene Uga, Junior Vikings; Okpara Nonso, Junior Vikings; Chimezie Ifeduba, 2-2; Arinze Chiemelie, 2-2; Okwuchukwu Okafor, SVC; Chukwuma Aguneyie, Junior Vikings (JVC).
Alongside the cultists were 11 arrested robbery suspects as well as some exhibits the police recovered during the operation which included one AK 47 rifle, one English Beretta Pistol, two locally made double barrel pistols, one single barrel shotgun, 15 rounds of 7.62 live ammunition, three cartridges and a red Toyota Matrix car with registration number EKY 879 EN snatched from one Evbadolovi Omorogbe at Benin City, Edo State.
Garba Umar further disclosed that investigations are still on to fish out other criminals while charging parents, community leaders, religious leaders and members of the public to play their role of availing the police and other security agencies of vital information that would help them curb crime in the state.
“Nothing testifies more eloquently to the contagion of cultism in our society than the fact that more than half of the 36 states of the federation now have laws that prohibit cultism and cult activities.”
Over the years, cultism has held inexplicable attraction for the nation’s youth population. In the 1990s, cult groups had roots largely in the universities and other tertiary institutions where they sprang up as fraternities. Then, there were no private universities and polytechnics. They kill, steal and destroy and tolerate no challenge or presence of rival groups. Cult wars are rampant on campuses and when they break out, turn the whole place into killing fields. Apart from students, lecturers and non-academic staff are often cut down. To get a kind of protection, these other members of the academic community also enlist in cult groups. In some cases, they do so out of fear for their lives. Anyone who has witnessed the ravages of cultism in Nigerian schools would grasp the immensity of its contribution to academic decadence in Nigeria. Today, the Nigerian society is not just grappling with the menace of campus cultism. The spread of it to secondary schools and the larger society is beginning to be worrisome. In the metropolitan city of Lagos, it is not just the Badoo Boys. The Police Command while receiving over 200 repentant members of Eiye, Black Axe and Buccaneer in January this year confirmed that the number brought to a total of 860 cultists who formally surrendered within four months in Ikorodu part of the state alone. In Rivers State, the House of Assembly had passed the Secret Cult and Similar Activities (Prohibition) Law, No. 6 of 2004. In the law no fewer than 101 cult groups that included the desperately deadly Deygbam and Deywell were listed as operational in the state. The presence of over 30 cult groups in Akwa Ibom State, this year, made Governor Udom Emmanuel to sign the Cultism and Other Violent Behaviour Prohibition Order in the state, which took effect from March 12, 2018. Nothing testifies more eloquently to the contagion of cultism in our society than the fact that more than half of the 36 states of the federation now have laws that prohibit cultism and cult activities. In some of these state laws, the penalty for culprits upon conviction is death sentence. More disturbing is that cult activities have made secondary schools, especially in the public sector, as unsafe as the tertiary institutions. Evil campus fraternities are finding their ways into these schools. Last week, the Enugu State Post Primary School Management Board (PPSM) had to expel nine female students of Urban Girls Secondary School, Enugu for their alleged membership of a cult group in the school. The board further declared that any pupil in the state found to be a member of a cult group would not only be expelled, but also be prevented from enrolling in any school in the state. We welcome any measure geared towards making schools and the society at large saner and commend the big stick Enugu State wielded against the deviant young girls. However, since the activities of the girls contravened Section 62 (1) of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act, which makes membership of unlawful societies a crime against the Nigerian state, the board should have considered prosecution. That, in the opinion of this newspaper, should be the way to go for education boards in all the states of the federation and the managements of tertiary institutions. It is not enough to expel student or pupil cult members. They should be handed over to the police for prosecution given that aside Section 62 (1) of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act, many other laws at both the state and federal levels make membership of unlawful societies a crime that must be rooted out. We note, however, that the more result-oriented approach at tackling cultism especially within the larger society should be proactive rather than reactive. Proactive measures demand that the different tiers of government should direct their energies more at addressing issues of social welfare, job and wealth creation than in expanding prison walls to take in more convicts of the crime of cultism or financing police raids on cultists’ hideouts. This, in our view, should not be pursued in relegation of the importance of the need for the enforcement of the laws that frown at cultism in the country. Laws are meant to be enforced. It takes no more than political will to do it. The litany of the laws against cultism have neither saved students, the schools nor the society from the evils of cultism because no one gives a hang about their enforcement.
It would be recalled that in the past few days, activities of secret cults in the State has taken an alarming dimension following a fierce battle of supremacy between rival cult groups leading to loss of lives and wanton destruction of properties. These dastardly acts perpetrated by misguided youths usually under the influence of hard drugs use offensive weapons such as guns, machetes, knives, etc to intimidate, assault, maim and even kill their perceived rivals including innocent citizens in Anambra State.The miscreants also engage in other forms of criminal activities such as Armed Robbery, Extortion and House Breaking among others thereby causing serious security threat in the State. Worried by these emergent trends of Criminality and other nefarious activities, the Command under my watch has reviewed its crime prevention strategies and embarked on intensive patrol, aggressive raid of black spots/ flash points and other criminal hideouts in order to nip in the bud all forms of crime and criminality in the State.These strategies started yielding positive results as during the week under review the Command has arrested Thirty Five (35) suspected cult members belonging to different sect groups from various black spots within the State particularly Awka, Obosi, Enugu-Ukwu and Okija as follows;
i. Chukwudi Machie ‘m’ aged 34yrsii. Chukwudi Igwebueze ‘m’ aged 32yrsiii. Onyeka Igbanugo ‘m’ aged 28yrsiv. Ifeanyi Anazoba ‘m’ aged 32yrsv. Chukwuemeka Nwokoye ‘m’ Aged 32yrs.
The aforementioned suspects confessed to be members of Black Axe/Vikings Fraternity and have direct link with the ongoing cult activities in Awka and the alleged murder of one Chukwudozie Patrick Nwosu ‘m’ aged 30yrs, Sunday Nwaboko ‘m’, Victor Omemma ‘m’, Ifeanyi Ndubuisi, Nnamdi Anih ‘m’ and others at various areas within the metropolis.However, other arrested suspects who are not directly involved in the alleged murder but belonged to various cult groups are as follows,
i. Arinze Chimiezie ‘m’ Junior Vickings JVCii. Obunabo Uba ‘m’ Black Daggeriii. Elenem Victor ‘m’ Black Daggeriv. Chinwuba Ugochukwu ‘m’ Black DaggerV. Okwuchukwu Okafor ‘m’ Senior Vikings (SVC)Vi. Egwele Chibuokem ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Vii. Okafor Chiemerie ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Viii. Uche Mmuoneke ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)ix. Akametaru Chibuike ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)x. Okeke Chidubem ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xi. Ibeh Chimezie ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xii. Ezeokoli Izuchukwu ‘m’ Black AxeXiii. Aka Izuchukwu ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xiv. Obighara Nzube ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xv. Ikueze Chibuzor ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xvi. Ezeokoli Chukwuebuka ‘m’ BuccaneerXvii. Nwabueze Chibuike ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xviii. Ezeh Chukwuemeka ‘m’ Black AxeXix. Okwuchukwu Odilik ‘m’ BuccaneerXx. Obi Chukwunonye ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xxi. Udemmadu Obichukwu ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xxii. Amobichukwu Izuogu ‘m’ Costral Marine PatrolXxiii. Ekene Uga ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xxiv. Okpara Nonso ‘m’ Junior Vickings (JVC)Xxv.Chimezie Ifeduba ‘m’ 2-2Xxvi. Arinze Chiemelie ‘m’ 2-2Xxvii.Okwuchukwu Okafor ‘m’ SVCXxviii. Chukwuma Aguneyie ‘m’ Junior Vicking (JVC)
Mudiaga Affe, Calabar
A renewed cult clash between members of Vikings and Black Axe has claimed nine lives in Calabar, Cross River State within three days.
The fight between the two cult groups, which started on Sunday night and continued late Monday to the early hours of Tuesday, was said to be in reprisal for an earlier attack on a member of one of the groups in March.
There has been heavy security presence in streets of Calabar since the renewed fight started on Sunday.
Southern City News learnt from a source on Tuesday that the renewed fight was sparked by the gruesome murder of one of the cult members identified as Agbani at the Ediba-Qua area of the metropolis on Sunday.
A reprisal, according to the source, continued on Monday as two other members of a group were also gruesomely murdered.
An eyewitness, Joseph Akpan, said he counted at the least four other corpses of suspected cultists along Marian Road in Calabar on Monday night.
Akpan, who gave details of the other deaths, specifically said two suspected cultists were killed in Ekondo Street, one along Mayne Avenue and one at Wilkie Street in Calabar-South.
“I also learnt that four others were gunned down at Atekong Drive and close to Apples along Marian Road in Calabar Municipal,” he said.
Another source, Raymond Ikechukwu, said a victim, simply identified as Emma, was also killed around Ediba Road by Okon Inok Street in Calabar municipality.
He said, “We were here this morning (Tuesday) when a group of guys started chasing Emma (one of the victims) from up Ediba and they later caught him around Ediba by Okon Inok Street, where they mercilessly murdered the guy. Emma was a tiller.
“I wonder why he went and put his hands in such dirty act by associating with people who do not have anything to offer. Just imagine how he has wasted his life. It was after Emma was killed that the Police arrived the scene chasing some culprits, which left the Marian Market in disarray,” he said.
In her reaction, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, who only acknowledged the death of one person as a result of the clash, however, said the police was on top of the situation.
“Actually, the clash between the two rivalry cult groups occurred. The police are on top of the situation. But only one person was reportedly killed,” she said.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos has suggested six out of ten youngsters are cultists.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Edgal Imohimi, on Friday said six out of ten young people are cultists in Lagos.The police boss, who expressed sadness over the rising cases of cultism among youths in Lagos, called for a state of emergency on cultism. Imohimi spoke at a town hall meeting with some residents of Surulere area of the state.“I instructed one of my officers to carry out a research on the reason for increase in cultism among the young ones, and it was revealed that it gives them a kind of advantage over their peers.For some, they joined to avoid being intimidated. Whatever reason it is, the blame is on us parents for not caring enough about our children,” he said.
six out of ten would mean 2,100,000 cultists in Lagos. About half of the recently quoted estimate of 5 million online criminals operating from the area (https://guardian.ng/saturday-magazine/prevalence-of-internet-fraud-among-nigerian-youths/)
Punch quoting 500 arrests in the past 5 months and detailed recent troubles locally: http://punchng.com/cult-members-kill-father-of-two-in-lagos/
Some hoodlums suspected to be cult members have killed a commercial motorcyclist identified only as Lukman at the Odo Eran area of Oworonshoki, a Lagos suburb.
Lukman, a father of two, was passing along Odo Eran on Monday when he was ambushed by the cult members, who hacked him to death.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the incident was in furtherance of renewed hostility between rival cult groups terrorising the community.
The victim had, on sighting the hoodlums that day, attempted to evade the attack but ran into a gutter with the motorcycle in the process.
The assailants reportedly descended on him with cutlasses, leaving him for dead.
Operatives from the Oworonshoki Police Division were said to have removed his corpse and deposited it in a mortuary.
Some residents, who spoke to our correspondent, said the recent clashes had caused panic in the neighbourhood as they could no longer stay outside their houses beyond 10:00pm for fear of being caught up in the attacks.
One resident, who gave his name only as Bola, said, “Cult members have been fomenting trouble in the community these days. Just last month, a man was killed at Mayaki. Lukman should be about 30 years old. He was an artisan and rode okada in the evening.
“He told some people that Monday morning that he was just released on bail by the Anti-Cultism police unit. I learnt he was married with two children.
“The cult members don’t kill anybody; they usually attack one another in the evening. They cash in on the clashes to rob passersby of their valuables. We can no longer relax outside our houses beyond 10:00pm. Shop owners now close early for fear of being attacked.”
Another resident, who begged not to be named, said the hoodlums that attacked Lukman were about 12 and were are all youths.
He said, “The police need to take proactive measures to stop these cult guys. People are living in fear and if nothing is done to check these hoodlums, some residents may be forced to relocate.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, confirmed the incident, adding that the motorcyclist was killed by a rival cult group.
He said the command had launched a massive manhunt for the hoodlums with over 500 suspected cult members arrested in the last five months.
He said, “The man that died was a well-known member of a cult that has been terrorising the area. He had been on the police wanted list. He was killed by a rival cult group. We are still investigating to find out and arrest the group that carried out the killing.
“We have Anti-Cultism unit close to Oworonshoki that frustrates these cult members from disturbing the peace of an area. The CP is also going round the state holding town hall meetings and talking to traditional rulers and other stakeholders to influence these youths to renounce cultism.”
NBM member ‘Fine Boy’ aka Jude Okoronta has been shot dead in Ikotun area of Lagos State.
Reported first in the NBM facebook group for the Awka and several personal axeman profiles: https://www.facebook.com/AWKA-Central-FORUM-NBM-1491752271051839/
Later reported in the media.
Says following a hotel fight ‘Fine Boy’ exhibited the typical “Super Axeman Behaviour” and challenged an armed security officer and attempted to wrestle his gun away. Security prevailing and the axeman shot and killed in the struggle.
A 28-year-old graduate of the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Jude Okoronta, has been allegedly shot dead by a policeman guarding Ileviaoje Hotel in the Ijegun, Ikotun area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the incident happened around 11pm on Wednesday.
Our correspondent gathered that the victim was waiting for a motorcycle to take him home and was in front of the hotel when he was allegedly shot by the yet-to-be-identified policeman.
An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there had been a fight between two men in the hotel.
He said, “When the men came out of the hotel, they continued their fight. The mobile policeman locked the hotel gate to prevent people from entering.
“The man shot into the air to scare away the crowd that had gathered in front of the hotel because of the fight. The bullet hit the man that was waiting for okada (motocycle) to take him home.
“The man that died was not among the people fighting. He was hit by a bullet and died on the spot.”
The brother of the deceased, Paul Okoronta, told PUNCH Metro that Jude was a customer at the hotel, adding that he usually went there to catch fun.
He explained that he had gone out of the hotel and was heading home when the fight broke out in the hotel.
He said, “He had been going to the hotel for months now; he was one of their customers. Because we usually have power problems, we also sometimes go there to charge our phones and relax. But he had left the hotel when he was shot and killed.”
Paul lamented that since the incident, the management of the hotel had kept mum, accusing the police of also seeking to bury the case.
PUNCH Metro observed during a visit to the area many patrol vans and policemen in front of the hotel.
“The management of the hotel is trying to bury the case. That was why they called the police to secure the hotel. They want to scare people away so that they can forget about it,” Paul added.
Paul also claimed that although the management of the hotel said the killer cop was in custody, the Divisional Police Officer of the Isheri Police Station said the policeman was at large.
The mother of the deceased was too distraught to speak with our correspondent during a visit to their residence on Lawson Street.
The Chief Security Officer of the hotel, who did not identify himself, denied that the late Jude was a customer.
He alleged that the victim struggled for the control of a gun with the policeman.
He said, “The man that died went to meet the policeman to challenge him for shooting and disturbing the neighbouhood. The cop, who is a Mopol, asked what his business was in the matter and he (Jude) abused the policeman.
“The policeman tried to reply him and he attempted to put a finger into the cop’s eye. The policeman cocked his gun and they started struggling for it. That was when the bullet went off.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Chike Oti, who confirmed the incident said, “Two guys got into an argument and a mobile policeman around tried to settle them. But one of them, called Jude, attempted to snatch the policeman’s gun.
“In fact, they struggled for the gun for a long time. He tried to wrest the gun from the policeman’s hand and the bullet went off.”
He, however, added that investigation was ongoing into the matter.