A renewed cult clash in Akpabuyo/Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State has left over 15 suspected cultists dead with several others injured.
Following the incident which started last Monday, May 10, residents in the affected areas have fled their villages and communities while economic and social activities have been grounded in the area.
Nigerdeltaconnect learnt that the three popular cult groups in the area, Skyro, Mafia and Black Scorpion, have always engaged in rivalry clashes, which are sometimes bloody.
An eyewitness who declined mentioning his name, lamented the action of the youths and called for the intervention of security operatives.
“This time, the operation was bloody. Imagine one of the suspected cult group took their members to a local charm doctor to prepare bulletproof charm and when they tested it by shooting one of them, he died on the spot” the eye witness said.
The eyewitness claimed that some houses and other property worth millions of naira were destroyed by the hoodlums.
“These boys ran amock and destroyed many houses in the two local government areas”.
When contacted the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Igri Ewa, said the command has not been briefed on the cult clashes and killings.
However, the chairman of Bakassi Local Government Council, Hon. Iyadim Iyadim, while confirming the operation of the cult groups, regretted the actions of the youths.
“There are lots of killings in the area. It’s cult-related but I have not heard of the destruction of houses.
“The last boy who died, his colleagues took him for charm preparation, to prepare charm for them so that bullets and other dangerous weapons will not penetrate their body.
“When he was put on trial, to ascertain the efficacy of the charm, he was shot and he died. That cult group lost three persons coupled with the ones the rival group killed.
“Up to ten persons have been killed and the operations started last two months and extended to this month (May); that is March, April and May.
“We have reported the matter to the government and on Tuesday, we had a security meeting with the governor,” he stated.
Iyadim explained that his local government, Bakassi has no operational base because the same boys destroyed the local government office during the #EndSARS protests.
“Not even a ruler or pin was left. What was left was for them to put fire in the local government secretariat, so nothing is left.
“And as at now, some soldiers who were around have been withdrawn and redeployed to other areas. The boys have ransacked police stations and attacked soldiers.
“The security agencies are afraid as they used charms and have adopted a measure of going to operation in large numbers to attack the military post and police station.
“The charm will make the security operatives to either fall asleep or make them not to see them as they approach. We are in trouble”.