© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Rival cult clashes claim 16 lives in two weeks in Anambra, says CP
AT least 16 persons were killed in the past two weeks in Awka, the Anambra State capital, as a result of a clash between two rival cult groups.
Garbar Umar, Anambra State Police Commissioner, said this on Tuesday while parading 35 suspected cultists that were arrested in the state.
The clash is reported to be between the Black Axe cult group and the Vikings fraternity, and it has been on for about two weeks, resulting in deaths on both sides.
Umar lamented that the cultism-related activities is on the increase in the state, urging parents to be alert to their responsibilities by ensuring that their children are well-behaved.
Awka is the host community for the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, known commonly as UNIZIK, and it is believed that cultist activities in the area are being carried out by students of the institution.
However, Chukwudi Machie, one of the suspected cultists paraded on Tuesday, told journalists that majority of all the young people residing in Awka belong to one cult group or another.
“Over 92 per cent of young people in Awka and environs are members of one secret cult or the other. We recruit them young,” Machie said, adding that members include students, commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called Okada riders, and other artisans.
Aside Machie, the names of the other arrested suspected cultists include: Chukwudi Igwebueze, 32; Onyeka Igbanugo, 28; Ifeanyi Anazoba, 32; Chukwuemeka Nwokoye, 32, among others.
One AK 47 riffle, one Bareta English pistol, two locally made double barrel pistols, one single barrel short gun, 15 rounds of 7.62 live ammunition, three cartridges and a red Toyota Matrix car allegedly snatched from its owner in Benin City, Edo State, were recovered from the paraded suspects.
Umar, the Anambra Police Commissioner, said the suspects will be charged to court soonest, warning that the police will no longer tolerate activities by cultists in the state.