Nigerian Army has vowed to crush members of cult groups terrorising communities in Rivers State, unless they surrender their arms and turn away from their old ways.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that two prominent cult groups in the state Icelanders and Greenlanders, have invaded at least five communities, killing not less than 50 persons in conditions that could be described as barbaric, but the Army, in a statement, issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, Captain Eli Lazarus, said preliminary investigation revealed that the attacks were as a result of cult wars of dominance between Icelanders and other cult groups in the state.
The statement warned the cultists against carrying out further attacks on communities in the state, saying that such attacks would be met with full military action.
“The issues of cult clashes in Rivers State have assumed an alarming dimension and a source of security concern in the State. In the past few days, cult clashes were recorded in communities in Ikwerre and Emuoha local government areas of the State with several deaths recorded.
“Amongst these deaths are some of our personnel who were part of the team that responded to distress calls to prevent the situation from further degenerating.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that these barbaric and condemnable acts were cult wars of dominance between Icelanders and other cult groups. This is seemingly motivated by the quest for economic advantage suspected to be connected to oil theft and illegal bunkering activities.
“The cultists are hereby warned to surrender their arms and turn away from their evil ways. Therefore, I wish to state unequivocally that any such attacks on any community will be met with full military action. The viciousness and bestiality displayed by these cultists in killing their rivals have no place in any civilised society.
“The level of violence and carnage recorded in the past few days must be eschewed and denounced by all peace loving and law abiding people of Rivers State. Those involved must never be allowed to go unpunished. The youths must be guided to save them from self destruction. Parents are therefore advised to warn their children/wards against belonging to or associating with any cult group.
“Anyone caught will not be spared. Additionally, information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and their patrons is hereby solicited from the general public. Be assured that all information volunteered in this regard will be treated as confidential. The people are urged to remain calm and go about their lawful activities as security agencies will continue to work assiduously and make sacrifices in the performance of their constitutional roles and relate with all well meaning citizens to identify these criminal groups and bring them to justice,” the statement read in part.

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