By Egufe Yafugborhi & Perez Brisibe
UGHELLI—EIGHTEEN suspected cultists were arrested during initiation ceremony, with liquid substance suspected to be concoction mixed with blood, in Iwhrekan community, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, by a combined team of the police, army and community’s youths.
It was gathered that the suspects, who were from within and outside the state, were arrested last Saturday at Iwhrekan Primary School.
Raising alarm on the state of insecurity in the area, the national coordinator of Niger Delta Peace Coalition, NDPC, Zik Gbemre, in an open letter addressed to the state governor, stated that the youths numbering over 200, are within the ages of 20 and 30.
Giving details of the incident, a senior officer at the Otu-Jeremi Police Station told Vanguard that “following reports of the gathering at the school, a combined team of policemen and army with assistance from youths of the community, stormed the venue and arrested 18 suspected cultists, while others fled into the bush.”
According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, “the suspects have since been transferred to the state police command headquarters, Asaba, for further investigation.”
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Celestina Kalu, said the suspects were arrested in the midnight, while they were carrying out their initiation ceremony.
Items recovered from the suspects, according to Kalu, were five cutlasses, battle axe, saw, shovel, scissors and a liquid substance suspected to be a concoction mixed with blood.