By Laureta Akpan
Following the directive by the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase to Commissioners of Police in Cross River, and other states to arrest and prosecute cultists who have made life unbearing for residents, the Cross River state command swoop into action and made some gains.
Yesterday, the command paraded no fewer than 40 suspected cultists, kidnappers and armed robbers at the police headquarters in Calabar.
While addressing newsmen during the parade, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Hogan Bassey, said the suspects were arrested at different locations within the state.
He said dangerous weapons, including locally-made pistols and axes, were recovered from the suspects.
This development is coming on the heels of a deadly war between rival cult groups, identified as Vikings and Scorpions, in the Calabar South area of the metropolis. The war claimed lives and property.
An unnamed local chief in the Calabar South area, was among those paraded for allegedly aiding and abetting cult activities in the area.
His two sons, who are also suspected to have been initiated into one of the groups by their father, fled when the police raided their home.
According to the PPRO, “You are aware of the slight increase in cult-related crimes in the state, especially violent attacks against law-abiding citizens. This development has been so disturbing. The height of these absurd activities occurred when the Vikings and Scorpions cult groups clashed. It led to the death of four of their members in Calabar South area.
“We are not relenting in our efforts to checkmate the excesses of these groups and create a conducive atmosphere for business to thrive. We are partnering with other security agencies and increasing our visibility policing, intensive foot and vehicular patrols. The sustained raid of black spots, use of informants, vigilante groups, adoption of some strategic community initiatives and proactive measures have helped us to reduce crime.”
The suspects are soon to be charged to court after completion of investigation.
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