Five persons reportedly killed in cult supremacy clashes
No fewer than five persons reportedly lost their lives during clashes of cult groups that occurred in Kogi State between November, 2021 and January, 2022.
It was gathered that part of the clashes occurred when rival cult groups from old market, Maigari Palace area, Kabawa, Sarkin Noma and many other areas recently engaged each other with guns and other dangerous weapons, leading to the loss of lives of innocent people.
According to reports, another fight broke out recently in the LG when the Aye cult group launched a reprisal attack on the Eye cult group over a girlfriend.
Confirming the five casualties of the attacks within the three month, the Chairman of the Lokoja First Advocacy Group, Comrade Umar Yakubu Ali, said residents have fled the LG over fear of more attacks and death of the five victims.
Speaking to newsmen during a town hall meeting with critical stakeholders to end cultism in the LG, Comrade Ali described the incessant killings in the state capital as barbaric.
He said: “A safer Lokoja is possible if we work and walk together, we want an end to cultism in Lokoja, enough of the killings”.
“We in the traditional street in Lokoja are not known for killing or hunting our selves. Sadly, killings has become the order of the day. Most unfortunately, the people embarking on this grievous crime are Children within the age of 15, 16, 17, 18 and the highest you could see is 23.”
“Whatever misunderstandings they are having within themselves, they pick guns and other dangerous weapons and start killing themselves. They shoot themselves as if it is sports. Lokoja first advocacy group observed that even though the government are doing their best, they are overwhelmed. That is why as civil society organization, we have to call for this town hall meeting to say enough is enough to this incessant killings in our Local Government.”
“So far, we know that five people have lost their lives within three month. We have visited the houses of those victims that have been affected. These are the ones we know, they are others we don’t know because our community is witnessing the sudden disappearance of our brothers and sisters,” he explained.
Also reacting, the Sariki Wasa of the state capital, Mohammed Baba, who lamented the spate of killings and cultism in the LGA, called for laws that would strengthen the traditional institutionns and curtail the problem in the society.
Hamza Aliu, the Executive Director, Initiatives for Grassroots Advancement, (INGRA), called for synergy among relevant stakeholders to put an end to cultism in Kogi State.
He also suggested that there is a need to make available white papers that would capture victims of cultism and the need for the families to sensitize the public on the dangers of the menace in society.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Kogi State, DSP William Ovye Aya, said the command is not aware of the figure of the numbers of people that have died as a result of cult clash in Lokoja.
“I am not aware of the figures you just quoted. Nobody has reported any cult case to us this year. The only case we have in our record here in Lokoja is the house of the Chairman, traditional medicine association which was burnt on the 11th of January 2022. We are currently trailing the hoodlums behind this act. I am assuring the general public that they will be arrested,” he said.