By Peter Duru
MAKURDI â€” The Benue State command of the Nigeria Police Force has apprehen-ded no fewer than 17 suspected cultists at the bank of River Benue.
The alleged suspects were said to have been arrested atÂ 2a.m. Tuesday, in the middle of an initiationÂ for new entrants into the group.
Vanguard gathered that the alleged cultists, who are between the ages of 18 and 25, were nabbed during a raid on the initiation ground by the Commissioner of Police Monitoring Team, assisted by operatives of the Special Anti-Crime Squad code named Operation Zenda.
Briefing newsmen on the development, the Benue State Police Commissioner, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed, disclosed that his men got wind of the ceremony at the venue and swiftly acted on the tip-off.
He further disclosed that when his men stormed the venue, the suspects opted to flee by swimming across the river, but his men followed suit and nabbed them.
Mohammed disclosed that the team also recovered from the gang an axe and a substance being used for the initiation.
The Police Commissioner hinted that he was investigating the true status of the group, though they claimed to be students of one of the state-owned institu-tions.
He promised to forward the names of the said students to the school authorities for verification pending further action on the matter.
While lamenting the high rate of cult activities in the state, CP Mohammed reitera-ted the determination of the Command to stem the tide by confronting the challenge.