At least five persons have been reported killed in a renewed cult war in Jesse, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.
It was learnt that the victims were killed between Sunday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 16 when two cult groupsclashed in the oil producing area.
It was gathered that four persons were killed at Boboroku and Irodo communities of Idjerhe Kingdom. Another victim, a motorcyclist popularly known as Okada rider, was shot dead along the road on Sunday night.
Community sources told our correspondent that the current war may not be unconnected to a battle of supremacy between two rival cult groups.
One source said the killings was connected to unending rivalry by two cult groups ‘but this killing was something else, two of the five people who were killed were vigilante and an Okadarider’.
A resident who preferred anonymity, said “It was becoming a monthly thing. It’s always cult killings. Youths are being killed in their prime and we want action on this,” he said in an emotion-laden voice.
Sources said that security agencies are becoming handicapped over the incessant cult war in the area because, “the boys involved in these cult wars have political godfathers, hence the police have not been able to effect any arrest since the mindless killings started over a year ago.
“One of the victims of the recent killing is a loyalist of a prominent politician from the local government, so we don’t want to join in their fight,” he added.
“Its a cult-related matter, my brother, and we are doing everything to curb it, as I talk to you, security is on ground, and we have restored sanity in that area,” Delta State Police spokesman, DSP Edafe Bright, said when contacted on phone.
When contacted, the Monarch of Idjerhe Kingdom, King Monday Obukowho Whiskey (JP), who spoke in a telephone conversation, said that he had since placed a curse on cultists in his domain, saying those engaging in cultism would continue to suffer calamity.
‘I have since banned cultism in my domain and those still carrying out activities of cultism will suffer. It’s only one community that we have cultists’ unrest and not the entire Idjerhe Kingdom. I am speaking from my palace and residents are going about their normal businesses, so there is no issue of people fleecing Jesse as being posted on social media’, he said.
He said that one of the youths allegedly sponsoring the cult war has been arrested and transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the State Police Command.