• Operation Crush arrests 25 cult members in Ijora, Mushin, Bariga, recovers firearms
In the last three months, cult activities leading to gruesome killings of rival cult members in Cross River State have been the order of the day, leaving residents worried of where the next attack would occur.
The cult groups operating in the state ranged from KK Confraternity known as Clansmen; Axe-men, known as Edege; Bukanias; Eiye and Vikes, also known as Aro Bargars.
Last month, Calabar metropolis was shaken by the cultists’ gang war when a 500-level student in Engineering department of Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), known as James Jay, was killed after writing his final exams. This was followed by reprisal attacks leading to the killing of over 20 people from both groups at different times.
Recently, a traffic warden suspected to be a cultist, was also shot while on duty, though he survived the attack. Speaking to The Guardian in confidence, an ex-cultist, who last year renounced his membership, said there is no profit being a member of a cult group. The repentant cultist said he was a member for 14 years and decided to leave because it gave him more sorrow than joy.
He said: “I left the cult group because there is no profit in being a member. If you have five minutes of joy from the confraternity you belong, you will in return have like 10,000 hours of sorrow. So, there is no joy in being a cultist. I renounced being a member of one of the deadly cult groups in my village last August after being a member for 14 years. I was initiated into it by somebody I called my godfather as a young boy in the church.”
The Chief Executive Officer of an organisation, Church Girl Foundation, Mrs. Gedah Etefia, said the only way to curb the trend of cultism from primary and secondary schools is for parents to spend more time with their children.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State police command on Sunday said that operatives of Operation Crush from the Anti-Cultism Unit had arrested 25 cultists at Ijora, Mushin and Bariga areas of the state.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana and made available to newsmen in Lagos.Elkana said that one Olaitan Rilwan, male, age 20, was found at Ijora roundabout with an automatic pistol concealed in his bag. “The suspect confessed to be a member of ‘Aiye’ Confraternity, the DSP said in the statement.
He also said that one Mustapha Oseni, male, 23 years old and 22 others were arrested during a follow-up operation at Bariga by operatives of Operation Crush. Elkana added that the operatives also arrested one suspect along Gaskiya road in Mushin.He added that the anti-crime patrol team from Mushin Police Station, led by Insp. Atipi Agasa, while on patrol along Olorunsogo in Mushin, intercepted two hoodlums.
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