By Akanimo Sampson
SUSPECTED rival cult groups in Cross River State, Southern Nigeria, are busy drawing blood as residents go about their businesses with fear.
Insiders say the renewed cult war in the state is a major drawback on the industrialisation push of the Governor Ben Ayade administration. This is quite unsettling to government. Sources say government will soon read a riot act to institutions harbouring cultists
At the moment, Calabar South Local Government Area in the state capital, appears to be the hotbed of cult activities in the state. There is an air of uncertainty in the area following the shooting of three persons within three days.
Eye witnesses say the bloodletting began the previous Friday around the Pinn Margaret secondary school end of Atakpa street where a 200 level microbiology student of the Cross River State University of Science and Technology (CRUTECH) suspected to be a member of one of the gangs, the Black Axe Confraternity was shot allegedly by members of another criminal gang, the Klan’s confraternity in the late hours of the morning which forced nearby educational institutions to close as early as 12 noon.
The unnamed undergraduate had allegedly participated in a gyration by Black Axe members on campus earlier in the day to mourn one of their colleagues who was gunned down by another student named James, (whom sources also say now walks around with a group of colleagues who act as guards) where he may have been spotted by a Klansman (a member of Klans Confraternity) in his street who later shot him as he was returning home.
Another suspected Black Axe member was allegedly gunned down by suspected Klan’s confraternity members around Essien street axis of New Airport which forced the Police SARS team to mount a stop and search operation at the Ekpo Abasi junction.
A concerned citizen said, ”these events show signs of dark days ahead”. Few of those who also spoke are fingered top government functionaries, accusing them of financing and arming the Klan’s confraternity to show “they are in power” with one even recalling that the said group “even gyrated at Marian during the carnival with no questions been asked about their activities whatsoever
The killings are however, coming barely two weeks after over 40 boys dressed in underpants launched a massive looting and snatching spree along Ekpo Abasi and Inyang streets with the snatching of phones, cash and other valuables on the increase within the metropolis.
Some residents have expressed fear that the Quick Intervention Squad renamed ‘Operation Skolombo’ by the governor is waning out with unverified information suggesting the governor may have disbanded them.
Efforts by our correspondent to reach the Police Public Relations Officer, John Eluu , did not pay off.