By Emma Una
CALABAR—SOLDIERS from the 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army were, yesterday, deployed to the streets of Calabar, the Cross River State capital, as the number of those killed in the raging cult war rose to eight on Monday.
The soldiers took over the streets as early as 6a.m. and drove round the city in a long convoy, while some are stationed in strategic points across the city, particularly in Calabar South part of the city, where the killings have been more pronounced.
Captain Kayode Owolabi, the Brigade Public Relations Officer, told Vanguard that the long convoy driven by soldiers around the city is a show of force to warn the hoodlums that enough is enough.
He said: “The convoy is a show of strength to warn the cultists and militants that we are in charge and that enough is enough and any further attempt by anyone to compromise the security in the city would be met with force beyond their comprehension.”
Owolabi warned that the soldiers are on orders to stop and search anyone suspected to be in the fray and called on all residents of the city to cooperate with the soldiers
According to him, “Calabar is a tourism destination and we will not allow hoodlums to continue to destroy the peace here. We, therefore, call on all residents to cooperate with us to flush out the militants and cultists.”
Though no fresh killings had been reported at press time, eight people were reportedly slain on Monday. One was killed at about 8.30a.m. at Nsemo Street and another at Obutong Street, both in Ikot Ishie.
Three were killed in the premises of a university, one at Eyamba/Presbyterian near the Obong of Calabar’s palace and another at Edibedibe Street.
Recall that one of the twins, who was shot on Saturday night and reportedly escaped with bullet injuries, was reported dead Monday.
Meanwhile, Ms Irene Ugbo, the Cross River State Police Public Relations Officer, told Vanguard on Monday that five persons were arrested in connection with the killings.
She said: “We are aware of the killings and five people have been arrested in connection with the activities of the cultists.
“Police are on top of the situation and calm has returned to the city.”