By Harris Emanuel
Cultists in Inen community, Oruk Anam local government area of Akwa Ibom State may have defied the state government’s olive branch extended to them following fresh wave of renewed violence in the sleepy community resulting in the death of a man said to be in his 60s.
Sources told Vanguard that the rampaging cultists went to his house and killed him in cold blood and it was yet ascertained which cult group was involved in the dastard act, but rival cult groups-Debam and Icelanders have held the agrarian community in the jugular over supremacy.
The Inen community has become a ghost town as almost 3,000 dwellers have fled it, even as about 60 persons have been reportedly killed in the protracted cult war.
The State Chief Judge Godwin Abraham, who visited the area over the weekend, reportedly sued for peace among cultists terrorizing the community, advising them to stop further hostilities or face the wrath of government as security operatives may descend on them at anytime.
Abraham said ,” I want to send a message to the young men calling themselves cultists that they are not doing themselves any good not even to the community.
‘’Some have died as a result of this unfortunate incident while others have fled from their homes to take refuge here. The children have not gone to school, many economic activities are not going on . I want to appeal to them to drop their arms and embrace peace”
Continuing he said, “The governor that we have is a peace loving governor. The moment they accept peace, this government would care for them and rehabilitate them”
“I know we have unemployment now but the solution to unemployment is not to take up arms and kill. There are legitimate ways of going about things. I am also trusting God that all the young men involved in cultism terrorizing their community will accept peace and allow government to take care of them.’’
A retired police Inspector Okon Josiah Udoh had told the Chief Judge how he was attacked and shot severally while attempting to broker peace among the two rival cult groups for peace to return to the community.
Paramount Ruler of Oruk Anam local government area, Akuku Johnson Johnny Obosi said activities of cultist have created fears and insecurity in the community and reiterated governor Emmanuel’s capacity to bring lasting peace so that residents of the community can return home .
“We appreciate the Chief Judge for visiting the victims in the camp to see things for himself and properly report same to government. Anytime our governor would visit this camp, we would take His Excellency to the affected community. I believe government would come and rescue us from the hands of these cultists.” he said .