John ODHE, Yenagoa
Rival cult groups have continued to unleash terror on different parts of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital and other parts of the state, killing themselves and innocent persons alike.
In the past few weeks, Bayelsa has recorded no fewer than 10 cult related deaths involving mostly young men and teenagers.
Within the period under review, cult clash claimed three lives at Amarata in Yenagoa during a free-for-all, involving two notorious groups that have been terrorizing the area for a very long time unabated.
According to sources, a teenage boy belonging to a very prominent royal family in Bayelsa state, was killed in the rival cult war.
It is, however, not clear whether the boy, who was a son to a former secondary school principal, was also a member of one of the warring cult groups.
Within the period, another cult clash occurred at OMPADEC road, Amarata which also claimed two lives.
In what looked like a reprisal, three days ago, the rampaging cultists visited mayhem on Punch Road, Amarata, shooting and robbing innocent residents.
A state correspondent of the The Guardian newspaper, Mr. Segun Osahon said he almost fell victim to the attackers but only escaped by the whiskers.
In a similar fashion, the resurging rival cultists, four days ago, clashed in a drinking bar at Customs Road, Gbiogbolo in the state capital, killing three and injuring several others.
Related cases were also reported at Kpansia, Swali, Okaka and other communities within the Yenagoa metropolis.
Meanwhile, luck ran out of some of the suspected cultists as over eleven of them were apprehended by combined forces made up of the Bayelsa Volunteer group and the Vigilante Service in collaboration with the Nigerian Police.
The Bayelsa State Volunteer and Vigilante Service which have been assisting the Nigeria Police in combating youth cult groups said the action was necessary to check the activities of gang members who have been terrorizing residents of the state capital.
Leaders of the joint operation, Lucky Asanakpor of the Bayelsa Volunteer and Doubiye Alagba, Vigilante Service told newsmen that the raids were carried out on the notorious Tombia market and other criminal hideouts in the metropolis.
In the crackdown persons, males and females mostly in their teens as well as early twenties were nabbed by members of the police assisted outfits.
“No responsible government will sit back and watch the gradual escalation in cases of insecurity occasioned by criminals even after several efforts to bring about peace and cohesion among youth groups.
“We have decided to take the war against crime and criminality to the door steps of the criminals wherever they may be,” they said.
Items recovered according to Asanakpor and Doubiye include charms and illicit drugs.
While it has not been established whether those arrested have any case to answer in the cult related killings in Yenagoa, the duo explained that they would nevertheless be handed over to the police for proper investigation and possible prosecution.
According to them, the eleven persons who were arrested at various known criminal hideouts had no fixed residential addresses or any identifiable means of livelihoods.
It was confirmed that ongoing supremacy war between some members of the Icelanders and the Bobos known as De Bam in the last three weeks had claimed the lives of over ten boys in Yenagoa.