No fewer than five persons have been killed over cult activities in the Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi State.
It was gathered that the figures of this incidents is between November 2021 to January 2022, Tribune has reported.
It was authoritatively gathered that, rival cult groups from old market, Maigari Palace area, Kabawa, Sarkin Noma and many had continuously engaged each other with guns and other dangerous weapons which led to the death of some persons.
Just recently, a cult group known as Aye, launched a counter-attack on their rivals cult Eye and JVC fight over a girlfriend.
This attack it was learnt led to the destruction properties, while some of the suspected over fear of reprisal attack or arrest took to their heels to neighbouring towns and State.
Speaking to journalists recently during a town hall meeting with critical stakeholders to end cultism in Lokoja Local Government Area, the Chairman Lokoja First Advocacy Group, Comrade Umar Yakubu Ali confirmed the casualties.
Ali said five persons have been killed by rival cult groups in Lokoja within three months which actually necessitated the two hall meeting with the theme” A safer Lokoja is possible if we work and walk together, we want an end to cultism in Lokoja, enough of the killings”.
He described the incessant killings in Lokoja as very unfortunate adding that, this is a clear deviation from their culture.
“We in the traditional street in Lokoja are not known for killing or hunting our selves. Sadly, killings has become the order of the day. Most unfortunately, the people embarking on this grievous crime are Children within the age of 15, 16, 17, 18 and the highest you could see is 23.
“What ever misunderstandings they are having within themselves, they pick guns and other dangerous weapons and start killing themselves. They shoot themselves as if it is sports. Lokoja first advocacy group observed that even though the government are doing their best, they are overwhelmed. That is why as civil society organization, we have to call for this town hall meeting to say enough is enough to this incessant killings in our Local Government.
“So far, we know that five people have lost their lives within three month. We have visited the houses of those victims that have been affected. These are the ones we know, they are others we don’t know because our community is witnessing the sudden disappearance of our brothers and sisters”
A traditional ruler Mohammed Baba, who is the Sariki Wasa of Lokoja lamented on the spate of cult activities in Lokoja Local Government Area. The monarch called for laws that would strengthen the traditional institutions, adding that, this will help to curtail the problem in the society.
Hamza Aliu, the Executive Director, Initiatives for Grassroots Advancement, (INGRA), called for synergy among relevant stakeholders to put an end to cultism in Kogi State.
He also suggested that there is a need to make available white papers that would capture victims of cultism and the need for the families to sensitize the public on the dangers of the menace in society.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Kogi State DSP William Ovye Aya said the command is not aware of the figure of the numbers of people that have died as a result of cult clash in Lokoja.
He however informed our correspondent that sometime in November, a murder case was reported to the police which was attributed to cult-related activities.
“I am not aware of the figures you just quoted. Nobody has reported any cult case to us this year. The only case we have in our record here in Lokoja is the house of the Chairman, traditional medicine association which was burnt on the 11th of January 2022. We are currently trailing the hoodlums behind this act. Am assuring the general public that they will be arrested”Aya added.