Police arrest three cultists in Benue

The Benue State Police Command on Monday said it has arrested three suspected cultists in Gboko town, Benue State.

Some youths were reported to have lined up a programme to mark what they described as ‘Aye cultism day celebration’ on Sunday, July 7, 2024, in the ancient town.

Part of the activities lined up to celebrate the occasion, according to an intelligence report leaked to security men, was the initiation of new members.

Aye is one of the secret cults and non-traditional groups formed by youths based on belief in mystical powers.

It was gathered that some youths, in collaboration with security men who worked on intelligence reports, went from street to street to round up the suspects.

A source, simply identified as Jiji Jack, based in Gboko, told our correspondent that some volunteer youths collaborated with policemen to fish out the suspects who had gathered for the celebration.

Jack said, “Some volunteer youths based in the traditional seat of Tiv nation, Gboko, joined forces with the security Joint Task Force to stop the planned celebrations of the worldwide cultism day, being 7/7/2024.

“The youth moved from one street to another to disperse a suspicious gathering of youths suspected to be celebrating the cultism day.”

A youth leader in Gboko who did not want to be mentioned explained that the reason they mobilised their members to comb the streets of Gboko and fish out suspected cultists was to avert anything that could disrupt the peace in the ancient town.

“It came to our notice that a group of criminally minded individuals, particularly cultists who are members of a particular confraternity had concluded plans to celebrate cultism day on July 7, the day popularly known as 7/7.

“New members will be inducted, covenants will be renewed, and supremacy battles will occur, usually characterised by violence and bloodshed, a reason we were out to assist the security to fight against it.

“So, we passed the information to security men, and we joined hands with them and moved from street to street anywhere we found a gathering of youths, we dispersed them.

He added, “We want our youths to be law abiding and shun negative tendencies as well as violence in order to make Gboko peaceful, security is everywhere and we, as youth groups are helping the security to see that nothing of such activities take place in Gboko.”

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene, said that three suspects were nabbed.

“Three suspects were arrested in Gboko, and investigation is ongoing,” Anene said in a terse statement.

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