Benue youths eject 12 suspected cult members from community
THERE was pandemonium yesterday at the Modern Market Ward and environs of Makurdi, the Benue State capital when vigilance groups assisted by youths in the area came out in full might and forcefully ejected 12 suspected cult members from their communities.
The Guardian gathered that, in recent times, cult activities had been on the rise in Makurdi metropolis and environs resulting in the killing of several persons by different cult groups in their reprisal attacks.
This worrisome development has instilled fear into residents especially those living around Iniongon, Agbouhol, Demekpe, Wadata and North Bank areas of the state capital.
Narrating the ugly trend to The Guardian during the raid, Vigilante Chairman for Community Unit 2, Modern Market Ward, Mr. Stafanus Tor, explained that the step became necessary after cultists had practically taken over the area and were unleashing unbridled terror on innocent citizens.
Mr. Tor intimated that 16 traditional rulers that make up the wards had at a meeting mandated them (the vigilance group) and the youths in the area to chase away cultists from their domains.
“These boys have been killing people and giving our area a bad name and we don’t want that anymore. That is why the 16 chiefs in this ward met and gave us the mandate to chase away cultists from the area. All we are saying is enough is enough for cultism in this place,” he maintained.
He noted that following the mandate, the vigilante gave cultists an ultimatum to forsake their evil ways or leave the area for good, adding that the ultimatum expired on Sunday.
“That is why we came out today to arrest those other ones who have refused to leave our area. So far, six of them have been arrested and handed over to the police while the raid is still ongoing. We expect to arrest more and hand them over to the police,” he said.
The State Commissioner of Police, Hyacinth Dagala, who confirmed the arrest of some of the cult members by the vigilance groups, said some were already in police net, even as he disclosed that one of the vigilante members sustained gunshot injury in the course of arresting some of the cultists.
The police boss advised youths who are into cultism to desist from their bad ways and become good citizens of the country while also urging parents to be more vigilant and teach their children better ways of life.
He commended the vigilante members who had taken the giant stride of trying to rid their communities of cultists. He also enjoined members of the public to take issues of security seriously and not shy away from giving useful information to the police that can lead to the arrest of unscrupulous persons in their area.
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