…The Surge In Cult Activities and Killings Call For Government’s Proactive Remediation
Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, a pro-democracy and rights group has lamented the surge in cult activities within Abia state, mostly in Aba the Enyimba city and its environs.
FENRAD, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, decries the worrisome situation which only worsened after the #EndSARS protest was highjacked by hoodlums in Aba.
“Though there have been incessant cult activities heretofore, the aftermath of the protest which created a security hiatus had been taken advantage of by rival cult groups in their supremacy war in the streets of Aba. Groups like ‘Aroo’, ‘Ayes’ and ‘Bobos’ now threaten the safety and peace of residents and denizens of Aba as do other such cult groups of ill repute”, the statement said.
According to FENRAD, “Cult-related killings now number in their tens (10s) – and may well reach their hundreds if not timely tackled – since the protest ended and every other day people wake up to the news of either robbery, sanguinary murder and sundry acts capable of breaching public peace and safety”.
The rights group said its regrets that within Ngwa Road and Ohanku axis people now retire to sleep by as early as 6:00 PM for fear of their lives. Barbershops, beer parlours and other such public places have had to be invaded and lives taken from the young. Equally has looting and broad daylight robbery become the order of the day”.
The full statement reads;
“The rise in this menace beyond affecting the ease of doing business in Aba equally goes against human rights, especially right to life. As enshrined in the Nigerian constitution of 1999 as amended (see chapter four of the same constitution under quote), right to life is inalienable barring situation where the law is not silent.
“The way and manner these notorious street cult boys now take life is condemnable and not one to which any constituted authority – to say the least an elected government with people’s mandate – can afford to turn a blind eye. FENRAD urges the state government to rise to the occasion in protection of lives and properties of indigent indigenes and poor residents.
“FENRAD does not want to see a reign of terror in any part of the state than it wants to see the reign of democracy and justice. FENRAD appeals to the state command of the Nigeria Police to be on top of their game even though it understands the morale level following the killing of officers and burning of certain police stations during the highjacked protest.
“Aba is synonymous with industry. A situation where peace and calm do not reign will negatively impinge on and/or weigh down development drive and potential. No one reasonable investor will invest or plant their businesses in an insecure place as business and security go hand in hand. The trajectory of cult operations manifests itself in barefaced phone snatching, robbing of business places like shops and markets and as well attacking owners of businesses including stealing from wayfarers at gunpoint.
“In Omuma Road, the story of the killing of a certain Emcee (compere) known by the alias of ‘Thunder’ is making the rounds. Places like Etche Road, Jubilee/Hospital Roads, Mbaise Road and others have had to be littered with corpses of slain youths.
“FENRAD wishes also to urge parents, guardians and even landlords to do the needful especially as the strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU as acronymed, drags on. Also is FENRAD aware that the killings may not be unconnected with the lingering strike since many students are not engaged.
“Concernedly, FENRAD wishes to draw the attention of the state house of assembly and executive arm with governor Okezie Ikpeazu Ph.D at the wheel to proactively assess and address the situation as chief security officer of the state and find way around this problem because it is a smoldering straw that sacks an entire community if not timely put out.
“Put out this smolder now before it turns into an inferno, FENRAD appeals.