State Commissioner of Police, Austin Agbonlahor
At least seven people have been reported killed in a cult war that erupted in Okundi, Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Eyewitnesses said houses were also burnt as the clash escalated following the killing of a youth opposed to cult activities in the community.
Reports said the youth, identified as Joseph Bukie Bankong, was killed on Monday night and this sparked further clash and bloodshed on Tuesday.
According to sources, the 12 villages that make up the Old Osokom Clan in Boki Local Government Area had held a meeting in Okundi, seeking ways to eradicate cult activities in the communities.
Sources said when the cult groups learnt that the community was plotting to counter their activities, the cult groups decided to strike first.
The cultists allegedly camped at Apostolic Church in Okundi, close to Boki Boys’ Secondary School and on Monday night, they killed their first victim, Joseph Bukie Bankong, who allegedly opposed activities of cultists in the community.
“The killing of Bankong made the entire community to rise up against suspected cult members.
“In the process, Alphonsus Etta Ewung, Otu Agbor Edum, and Chief Paulinus Otu’s son, among others, were killed,” a source who pleaded for anonymity said.
Several houses and property have been burnt between Monday and Tuesday in the wake of the clash, eyewitnesses said.
The State Commissioner of Police, Austin Agbonlahor, confirmed the incident in a telephone chat.
“It is a cult war which started last (Monday) night. The police are on ground now,” Agbonlahor explained.
He, however, said he was not aware of the number of casualties.