Anam­bra’s Growing Cultism

In just two weeks, a bat­tle of supremacy be­tween two cult groups claimed 16 per­sons. DavidChy­ddy Eleke re­ports that those killed were all young peo­ple, who at best can be de­scribed as the lead­ers of to­mor­row

THISDAY - - STARTERS -

In just two weeks, a bat­tle of supremacy be­tween two cult groups claimed 16 per­sons. DavidChy­ddy Eleke re­ports that those killed were all young peo­ple, who at best can be de­scribed as the lead­ers of to­mor­row

From Awka to Onit­sha, Nk­por and Obosi, all in Anam­bra State, cultism has be­come a way of life for young peo­ple. This has fur­ther fu­eled illicit drug con­sump­tion, and the use of other sub­stances to at­tain some level of high­ness that per­mits them in­dulge in un­to­ward be­hav­iours.

In Awka, the state cap­i­tal, the bat­tle for su­pe­ri­or­ity be­tween the Vik­ings Con­fra­ter­nity and the Black Axe is yet to abate. Our correspondent who traced the be­gin­ning of the bat­tle learnt that it all be­gan af­ter a tra­di­tional fes­ti­val of Awka king­dom, known as Egwu Imo Awka Fes­ti­val, which took place in the month of May. Within just two weeks of the bat­tle, 16 per­sons, from both sides have been felled.

At UNIZIK junc­tion, a pop­u­lar lo­ca­tion in the cap­i­tal city, a young boy of 20, named Chinedu (not real name) had just ar­rived the ever busy junc­tion, where his Aunty sold food, and not long af­ter, a group of five boys were said to have ac­costed him. As they dis­cussed, one may mis­take them to be his friends, but un­known to passersby, Chinedu had been held hostage. They walked him down the road to a less busy spot, be­fore one of the boys drew a gun and felled him in­stantly, leav­ing him in the pool of his blood, while they fled.

It was un­der such con­di­tion that both groups worked, iden­ti­fy­ing and killing mem­bers of the op­po­site cult for two weeks. A source, who pleaded to re­main anony­mous told THISDAY that what seemed good was that even though the boys were killing each other, they never tam­pered with any­one who was not a mem­ber of the ri­val cult. "They have to iden­tify the per­son suf­fi­ciently, and be sure he was a mem­ber of the op­pos­ing cult, be­fore they struck.

"They usu­ally moved in groups once night fell, seek­ing out the mem­bers of the op­po­site group. What is even more amaz­ing was that these were young peo­ple who were still liv­ing with their par­ents, so what they ben­e­fited from be­ing mem­bers of the cult is what I do not know," the source lamented.

In Obosi, an­other com­mu­nity in the state, which has also be­come syn­ony­mous with drugs and gun bat­tles, the po­lice and men of the Na­tional Drug Law En­force­ment Agency have had real task keep­ing up with the cul­prits, as both se­cu­rity agen­cies have also con­fessed to the trou­bles it un­der­goes keep­ing drug ped­dlers in check, and also tack­ling cult re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

Re­cently, Anam­bra State Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, Mr. Garba Umar pa­raded 35 cultists who were ar­rested in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions in the state es­pe­cially in Awka and Obosi com­mu­ni­ties. The com­mis­sioner raised alarm over the in­crease in cult re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties in the state. He called on par­ents to per­form their func­tion by tam­ing their chil­dren as the com­mand may com­mence charg­ing them to court for mur­der.

Some of the sus­pected cultists pa­raded by the com­mis­sioner in­clude; Chuk­wudi Machie; 34, Chuk­wudi Ig­we­bueze; 32, Onyeka Ig­banugo; 28, Ifeanyi Ana­zoba; 32 and Chuk­wue­meka

In Awka, the state cap­i­tal, the bat­tle for su­pe­ri­or­ity be­tween the Vik­ings Con­fra­ter­nity and the Black Axe is yet to abate. Our correspondent who traced the be­gin­ning of the bat­tle learnt that it all be­gan af­ter a tra­di­tional fes­ti­val of Awka king­dom, known as Egwu Imo Awka Fes­ti­val, which took place in the month of May. Within just two weeks of the bat­tle, 16 per­sons, from both sides have been felled

A cross sec­tion of 35 ar­rested cultists pa­raded by the po­lice

Anam­bra State Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, Mr. Garba Umar

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