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Cult war in Edo claims two mothers


Acting Inspector-General of Police, solomon Arase

Acting Inspector-General of Police, solomon Arase

THE on-going cult war in Benin City on Monday evening claimed the lives of two mothers when cultists attacked the homes of some of their targets, could not find them and vented their frustrations on their mothers.

One was reported to have been killed around Upper Sokponba Road and the other in New Benin Area of Benin City.

The suspected cultists were said to have stormed Virginia junction by Murtala Muhammed Way, Benin City at about 8: 00pm Monday looking for their target said to be a 25- year-old man.

It was gathered that they went to a store run by their target’s mother where she was said to have told them that she has not seen her son for two weeks. The armed men reportedly went to the man’s residence and found him at home. They were said to have immediately shot their target dead and, angered by his mother’s stance, they went back to the woman’s shop and shot her dead.

In New Benin area, suspected gunmen who The Guardian could not confirm whether they were the same gang that operated in Upper Sokponba, were said to have shot the mother of their target when they could not find him at home.

Over 10 persons have died in the past one week in the renewed cult war which the Police Command in the state is yet to find a solution to.

Some leaders of some of the cult groups were said to have a held a peace meeting recently but it seemed not to have helped the situation.

However, a youth leader, Tony Adun, popularly called Tony Kabaka, Tuesday raised alarm over the spate of cult related killings in the state, which according to him have claimed not less than 20 lives in the past two weeks. He called on the state government and the state House of Assembly to urgently set up a Task Force against cultism in the state so as to check the excesses of the perpetrators.

He said: “This senseless killing must stop. I am volunteering myself to help fight these people killing themselves. The state government must do something fast to set up a taskforce against cultism. If that is done, we will bring in community leaders, elders and traditional rulers so that anywhere there are killings we will hold them responsible.”

The State Police Commissioner, Samuel Adegbuyi could not be reached on phone yesterday but the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Stephen Onwochei, had told The Guardian on phone last week that some arrests have been made but could not give the accurate figure as the Command was still compiling reports.

Meanwhile, there was pandemonium at Iguodala Primary School in Uhunduhun community, Oredo Local Council of Edo State, when a suspected grave was found in one of the classrooms in the school.

The suspected gravesite with bloodstains was reportedly ‎discovered by one of the teachers and some pupils at 7.16am on Monday, shortly after the morning assembly.

They were said to have raised alarm and scampered for safety, drawing the attention of acting Headmistress, Mrs Georgina Ilongwo who quickly ordered the evacuation of the pupils from Primary 1A where the site was discovered.

She said she had alerted officers from the Esigie Police Division and described the incident as a shocking discovery that had not been witnessed before in the school.

She also said that many parents prevented their children and wards from to going to school the following day (Tuesday) due to the fear of contracting an infection.

At the time journalists visited the‎ scene of the incident, the “grave” looked freshly dug, as it had not been cemented. A pair of shorts and a T-shirt were also seen on the floor of the classroom.

There were officers from the Esigie Police Division at the scene, some of whom were said to have kept watch‎ from Monday night until an evacuation was carried out by some cemetery staff from the local council at about 11.40am.

There was, however, a twist when workers suspected to be grave diggers were instructed by health officials from the council to stop exhumation, after digging 3-feet into the ground, saying that there was no sign that a corpse had been buried at the site.

The Divisional Police Officer, CSP Akeke Eni, also allayed the fear that the remains of an unknown person could have been buried in the school.

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