Cult related clashes, which have refused to go away in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, reportedly claimed not less than five persons last week as two rival cult groups, the Klans and Black Axe confraternities, allegedly engaged each other in brutal superiority war.
Recall that different cult groups had, last year, unleashed mayhem on one another with residents of the city suffering the brunt of the war for more than one month. At least thirty souls had reportedly perished.
However, a senior Police source, who preferred not be named since he was not authorised to speak in the absence of the public relations officer, said yesterday that the force had arrested over 10 suspects already within last week over killings in different locations in Calabar South local government area and Calabar Municipality. He disclosed that men of the Mbukpa Police station alone picked up three young men with machetes and a locally made pistol yesterday while others were arrested in other locations in the ancient city.
Our reporter gathered that the latest victim was a 20-year-old young man who was butchered at the weekend by a 6-man matchet and gun wielding group.
The Police source, which confirmed the incident, said, “we arrived the scene as soon as we got the information but unfortunately the suspects had escaped as they could not be seen. The relations of the victim came and carried their son to mortuary”.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that the victim may have been a Klans member and that his assailants were of the Black Axe confraternity.
Okon Emma, an eyewitness, told our reporter that he was standing few metres from the scene when it happened. He said he saw a group of six boys with locally made pistols, machetes and other dangerous weapons entering an aluminium workshop, manufacturing doors and windows, where they killed the young man.
Emma said, “they came in an unregistered red car, jumped down and headed to the workshop. I don’t think it was a robbery attack because they did not take anything from the workshop or harassed any other person. They dragged the victim out to the main Ekpo Abasi street, shot him several time before macheting him into pieces. They made sure he died on the spot before they entered their standby vehicle and left”.
He said the Police however responded to calls by passer-by but that before they could arrive the scene, the suspects had completed their assignments and zoomed off.
Related reports also said two others were killed in Dr Dean Street in Mbukpa and Nyahasang, close to the popular big transformer. While another ‘strong man’ perished in 8 miles the other lost his life in White House Street.