By Gabriel Alonta & Nosa Akenzua
Orient Daily gathered that no less than 10 persons have been allegedly murdered in the last two weeks in parts of Asaba while about six youths have equally been gunned down in Awka over the last week in the wake of the latest cult clashes in both cities.
This paper learnt that the killings in Asaba are perpetuated by two cult groups, the Vickings and Eiye confraternities who are locked in a supremacy battle while that of Awka is reportedly a bloody battle between the Vikings and Black Axe over control of two motor parks along Enugu/Onitsha expressway.
It was gathered that the cult groups have allegedly killed their targeted persons in Isieke quarters, Umuagu quarters, Summit area, Bonssac quarters, Okwe and Oduke community and other affected areas in Asaba in the day time, leaving the victims in pools of their blood.
According to a reliable source, the Awka mayhems have also recorded some murders, three of which were reported at Ezejiaku, Amikwo village, near Glory of Yahweh Sabbath Church, Awka while the other three were gunned down at Umuonaga village, Awka. “The battle is a continuation of the Imo Oka 2018 festival clash which led to the killing of over 20 people last year before police intervened. From what we gathered, these two groups are still fighting over control of two motor parks before and after Sinai Petrol Station, Onitsha-Enugu expressway, Awka”, the source said.
Another source who gave her identity simply as Angel, told this paper how two of the murdered cultists ran into their compound in search of escape route moments before they were gunned down. “We were inside our house and, all of a sudden, two strange-looking boys ran into our compound and begging us to show them an escape route and that some people were after them. As they tried to escape through the other gate, we started hearing heavy gunshots and ran inside. By the time the gun fire stopped and we came out, we saw their lifeless bodies.
She disclosed that efforts by residents of the area to reach police during the melee proved abortive, while adding that there had been increase in insecurity in the state even as she appealed that the state government do something urgent about such incidence.
Anambra state police public relations officer, SP Haruna Mohammed, told Orient Daily that investigation was ongoing to uncover the facts behind the latest clashes and apprehend the suspects. He disclosed that ‘intensive raid is ongoing’ and that residents of the affected areas “should not relent in their efforts to provide us with useful information that could help us arrest the misguided elements.”
Delta state police public relations officer, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, however, denied knowledge of the cult killings, but assured of the police continued protection of lives and properties in the state.
“Though I am not aware of any killings, except few suspected hoodlums that are killing themselves, the police are doing everything possible to strengthen the 24-hour patrol teams of the police that will ensure the evil perpetrators are brought to book, the police are not relenting in doing this as well as maintaining law and order in the State”, Aniamaka said.
Their modus operandi, further investigation revealed, is in most cases, executed in disguised manners of being masked, giving credence to the fact that they are cultists and after their evil execution, don’t take away any belongings from their victims but ensure dead.
Only recently, these suspected cultists killed a bread seller around Ibusa Asaba Junction after he was said to have been severally shot on his head and stomach before jumping into a stationary vehicle without plate numbers.
A resident of the area, Margaret Molokwu who spoke to journalists said,” Cultists have been terriorising Asaba, and killing their targets, Business is no longer moving because everyone is living in fear. They have taken over everywhere in Asaba and kill every day. The police seem not to be doing anything about it. Thank God for the soldiers who have been positioned everywhere, especially at Ibusa Junction where the cultists killed the bread seller”
Prostitutes which used to hang around a popular hotel along Nnebisi road have deserted the area for fear of being killed by these cultists. But some military men, currently on routine patrol and who spoke to newsmen on condition of anonymity, said “We snuff life out of anybody caught before the elections. We are here to do our work and no mercy on the evil doers”.