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South South irony: Cult deaths cause Akwa Ibom to mourn, Obaseki’s victory sends Edo into wild jubilation

* Cult clash leads to death of two, sack of residents in A'Ibom community

From INI FRIDAY, Uyo

While Edo State is still enveloped in joy following yesterday’s announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki of the PDP as winner of last Saturday’s governorship election in Edo, renewed cult clashes between De Balm and Iceland confraternities in Inen Ikot Eteye village, Oruk Anam local government area, Akwa Ibom State have led to the death of two persons and forced exile of villagers from their besieged community.

AbeyaNews Correspondent who monitored the Edo governorship reports that wild jubilation broke out in the entire State once INEC announced Obaseki winner with supporters of PDP and Governor Obaseki emptied into the streets and shouting “4+4, Torgba”, “PDPpppp”, “Obasekiiiii.”

The jubilation stemmed in part from the fact that the conduct and outcome of the election proved bookmakers who predicted violence wrong, as the election was adjudged by observers as peaceful, free and fair.

On the other hand, the bloody Akwa Ibom incident happened in the early hours of Saturday when members of De Balm group caught up with a member of Iceland in their family compound and butchered him.

An eyewitness, Mr Okon Idung said the second victim simply known as ‘OSAboy’ who is a member of the community vigilante group was caught near the scene of the incident by the cultists and macheted several times, resulting in his death.

He said the cultists who left the dismembered body of OSAboy to bleed to death did so apparently in a bid to hide their identities, the victim having stumbled on them during their operations and the cultists were afraid he would identify them for arrest.

He said: “OSAboy lives in the neighbouring village but met his untimely death that early morning as he rushed to carry his wife to the popular Urua Awak market, when the hoodlums descended on him.

“They caught him after the first person was killed. We heard when he was shouting for help but the cultists did not listen. They killed him on the spot just to hide their identities and escape arrest.”

When the Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Frederick N-Nudam was contacted, he confirmed the incident.

He said the Divisional Police Officer in Oruk Anam confirmed the cult clash and the killings in the village.

He stated that the Commissioner of Police, Amiengheme Andrew, on getting wind of the incident mobilised officers from the anti-kidnapping unit to join forces with those of anti-cultism squad to restore normalcy to the area.

“I called the DPO of Oruk Anam LGA and he confirmed that there was an incident of cult clash in the area.

“As soon as the incident occurred, the Commissioner of Police, Amiengheme Andrew, mobilised officers, made up of anti-cultism, anti-kidnapping to join forces with Operation Flush that is stationed there, and the area has been subjected to serious surveillance.

“As we speak, some suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident and we hope that the Police would be able to bring the situation to normalcy,” he explained.

The killings in Inen community has become rampant in the last six months, and many young persons have died due to the rival cult clashes there.

The situation has left community leaders and security agencies helpless as the incessant cult clashes have forced many residents to flee to neighbouring villages.

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