FEAR and anxiety have taken over Awka, Anambra State, as cult activities heightened following the disbandment of the Special Anti Robbery (SARS) in Nigeria.
This may not be unconnected to the disappearance of Police officers from the roads as well as patrol teams since the ENDSARS protest that led to the ban of SARS.
While a mechanic suspected to be a member of a cult group was on Monday, November 2, shot dead in his workshop at Kwata area of Awka in broad day light, an unarmed woman residing in same area was also shot on the hand by suspected cult group.
Information has it that suspected members of the cult gang who were three in number stormed Kwata area in the early afternoon, went to the mechanic’s workshop, shot him and left him in the pool of his blood and ran away.
The Ifite area, which is densely populated by students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, was allegedly over-run recently by a suspected cult group that went on rampage during the day, robbing shop owners of their goods and money.
Similarly, on Thursday night, a group of boys suspected to be members of a cult group, stormed Dike park area at about 9:00pm brandishing axe, pistol and matchetes as they hunted for a yet to be identified person.
According to an eye witness, the boys arrived the area in a tricycle (Keke Napep), brandishing weapons, entered one shop and came out shortly after not finding their prey.
The eyewitness who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Tuesday was the scariest day of my life. I witnessed cult boys operation first hand. I parked my keke at Dike Street to but something, shortly after, two keke arrived with some boys numbering about ten came and parked directly behind my keke.
“Immediately they stepped out brandishing pistol guns, axe and matchetes, people started running helter-skelter. They walked past the shop I was in and went to another shop where they asked questions and came out. In fact, they took over the entire area as there were no security operatives in sight to challenge them.
“I was really shaken with fear. I have never witnessed their operation here in this area since their escapades here. I only hear the story or arrive after they had left. It was scary.
“If you see them, they were small, small boys but when you hear the things they do, you will think they were older boys. I couldn’t believe what my eyes saw.”
Our correspondent learnt that the suspected cult gang stormed the area in search of a cult member but missed him as the victim escaped before their arrival.
In his reaction, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Mohammed, said: “The DPO only confirmed the killing of a mechanic in Kwata area of Awka and the shooting of an unarmed woman on the hand by suspected cult members.”
BY SUNNY A. DAVID