3 killed in Uyo cult clash

By Isaac Job

No fewer than three persons were reportedly killed and others critically injured in rival cult clashes involving vickings and Mafia confraternities in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital.

Our Correspondent gathered that the clash by the rival cult groups started on Tuesday claiming three lives

An eyewitness around the Ibom Plaza axis of the city center told our Correspondent that the fracas, started in the evening, about 6:30 pm, and lasted for about two hours, before Police operatives and a detachment of soldiers standing guard at the plaza since the #EndSARS protests last year, arrived to restore normalcy.

Aniekan Akpainyang, a tricycle operator, who spoke to our Correspondent, linked the remote cause of the violence to a minor disagreement at a betting shop, along Ikot Ekpene road by the plaza area as the incident triggered the old animosity between the rival groups.

He said: “One cultist, a member of the Vickings confraternity had placed a bet to the tune of N5,000, but could not pay after he lost. The shop attendant asked him to pay or drop his phone, but he refused and, instead call his gang members on phone, who came, pounced on the attendant and raided the shop.”

He added that the resultant reprisal from the camp of the booking man, said to belong to the Mafians group, led to a free-for-all, with three persons killed; two at the Plaza area and one at the Ikpa road junction, close to the University of Uyo (UNIUYO) town campus, while two others, had earlier been killed at Okokon Etuk street, few meters to the Uyo City centre.

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Though the Police confirmed the incident, they could not state the number of casualties in a statement released on Wednesday by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Odiko Macdon.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), at about 6:30 pm, the Command received information about a Cult clash at the Plaza.
While the Commissioner of Police, CP, Olatoye Durosinmi, condemned in strong terms, the unfortunate incident which caused palpable fear among the good people of the state, the CP has reminded those involved in this dastardly act to note that the ban on cultism in the state is still in force and that henceforth, perpetrators of such acts will be apprehended and prosecuted in accordance with extant laws.

“The Commissioner of Police has, therefore, called on residents to go about their lawful duties without fear of molestation as the Command has emplaced adequate security at the Plaza and around the state, throughout the Yuletide and beyond.”

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