Tension as rival cult groups clash in Akwa Ibom
Violent clashes between two rival cult groups in Nsukara Offot, Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, have left at least 16 people dead and properties worth millions of naira destroyed.
The warring groups, identified as the Klaans and the Black Axe confraternities, are reportedly battling for control of minibus parks in the city and toll collection.
The crisis, which began in the Uruan Local Government Area before spreading to neighbouring communities, has led to the desertion of affected areas.
“Thank God, I finally arrived at my house this morning after my friends called me Monday evening to sleep elsewhere and not to return for fear of being killed by the rampaging armed hoodlums,” lamented Nora Iwang, a resident of the area.
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“My wife called me at about 7:50 pm on Monday, that I should not return home because of ongoing killings around my area…I had to take refuge at my sister’s place off Abak Road till this morning, Tuesday,” said Aniefiok Usen, another resident.
Residents of the affected communities, such as Emem Duncan, expressed their dissatisfaction with the police response to the crisis.
“Throughout these last three days, we’ve been staying indoors from 6:00 pm because of the fight and the Police operatives would only mount the guard on major roads, harassing ordinary unarmed civilians without going into the villages to confront the real culprits,” Duncan said.
Confirming the tragic incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Odiko Macdon, stated, “The Commissioner of Police (CP), Olatoye Durosinmi, is miffed at the disruption of public order and safety by two rival cult groups leading to the loss of lives.”
Macdon also assured residents that the CP had deployed tactical resources to restore order and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“The CP condemned in strong terms the wanton destruction of lives… He has sent a clear warning to perpetrators of these dastardly acts to desist forthwith or face the dire consequences of their actions,” Macdon added.