By EMMA AMAIZE, Warri
FOOT soldiers of arrested Delta State kidnap kingpin, Kelvin Oniarah, who are overawed by soldiers, deployed to Kokori, Ethiope-East West Local Government Area, to smoke them out from their stronghold, have resorted to making ritual sacrifices to scare away the security agents.
Saturday Vanguard gathered coffins and sacrifices of dead animals with native chalk and other horrible-looking objects emerged overnight at different junctions on major streets in the town, all in the bid to cause fear.
However, the soldiers, who, Wednesday, arrested the chief priest of Kokori, alleged to have prepared fortification charms for Kelvin and his gang, were not perturbed, as they continued with their “internal operation”, yesterday.
Kelvin’s comrade-in-arms, who thought the chief priest was invulnerable, were stunned when he was seized by soldiers and the shrine destroyed.
Previously, the police had hesitated in destroying the shrine and arresting the chief priest even when they have information that he was the one preparing charms for the gang.
“They believed it was power of the shrine that stopped the police from arresting the chief priest and burning the shrine when they struck in Kokori between March and April, so they were furious at the beating the chief priest was given when they arrested him,” a source told Saturday Vanguard.
It was learnt it was pent-up anger that made them attack the soldiers on Wednesday, but troops, who had been directed to be civil as possible and concentrate on their mission in the town, reportedly fired staccato of guns shots into the air to jolt them too.
Our source, a villager, said “One person was hit by a stray bullet and he died, I am not aware that 12 persons were killed, I live here, I do not know about that.”
“What happened is that soldiers entered the Egba shrine and arrested the Ose Egba, who is , indeed, the person that makes different kind of juju for them and they really beat him, that is what they have being doing here to anybody they suspect and the youths, particularly those loyal to Kelvin were angry.
“They mobilized and confronted the soldiers, they have been setting bonfires and barricading roads to stop the advancing troops from coming in, but the soldiers came prepared,” she added.
Her words, “We woke up this morning to hear that government has imposed a curfew, 6.00 pm to 6.00 am in Kokori, the place is calm, as at now, I have not seen the soldiers in my street, may be, they are in other parts of the town, but there is calm.”
“Many people have fled the town but I am here, I have not done anything wrong, nothing is pursuing me, I am going about my normal duty. But there is fear everywhere, however, the soldiers are not shooting anybody, but you know soldiers, they can beat you at any time for any reason,” she added.