March 16, 2024

‘We became cultists to protect our mothers from assaults by their lovers’ — Suspects

'We became cultists to protect our mothers from assaults by their lovers' — Suspects

By Evelyn Usman

The Rivers State Police Command recently stormed the hideout of self-confessed members of Dey-Bam confraternity, in Bonny Local Government Area, arresting two suspects: Gift Hart, (20) and Raphael Green.

Aside from admitting being members of the confraternity, the duo revealed during an interrogation with the Police that they intentionally joined the cult group to protect their mothers from physical assault from their lovers.

Saturday Vanguard learned that they met at a scaffolding workshop at Berger Road, Bonny, after completing their secondary school education, where they discovered they were facing the same problem at home.

While Hart said he was born out of wedlock and was living with his mother and her live-in-lover who always assaulted her physically, Raphael said his mother was in a relationship with a man that was not his father and has had four children fro him, in addition to three children he had from another man.

Unable to stand the sight of their mothers being beaten, they sought solace in cult group
Explaining how he was able to conquer his mother’s lover, Raphael, said, “I went to speak with some of my old classmates at Bonny National Grammar School who were cultists.

“They offered to ‘blend’ me into their cult group, Dey-Bam, and I consented. Then, I was 18 years old.

“They took me to the Bonny Sand filled at night , where I was blindfolded, beaten and given a gin mixed with blood to drink. There, my journey into cultism began.

“Thereafter, I confronted my mother’s partner, i revealed my identity as a Dey-Bam cult member and threatened to hurt him if he touched my mother again. That was the last time I saw him in my mother’s house”.

For Gift, his foray into cultism started a year after Raphael’s. Before joining the confraterning, he said he was frustrated that he could not confront his mother’s partner, Biowuma, whom he said was a cult leader in the Iceland cult group and was notorious for coordinating cult activities in the Bonny Local Government Area. He said, “ He was feared by all . So, I decided to join a rival cult group in order to match him.

He said, “After my final West Africa Examination Council ,WAEC paper, at age 17, I went to one Idamina in Green compound, a senior member of Dey-Bam cult in Bonny Local Government and requested to be onboarded. I was initiated at the Bonny Sand-filled.

Mother’s lover

“When I recovered from the initiation, I immediately confronted Biowuma, my mother’s live-in-lover. He called my bluff and warned me to stay out of his business.

“When the tension between him and I heightened, I left my mother’s house to live with Raphael and other members of the Dey-Bam group.”

But he reportedly returned when he received news that his mother’s lover had raised his hand on her.

He said: “I rushed to my mother’s house, attacked her lover with a stick and broke his skull in the process.”

Gift was said to have fled the vicinity thereafter, as his mother’s lover was searching for him to retaliate.

But that was never to be as the latter was arrested in September 2023, for allegedly leading members of the Iceland cult to steal construction equipment from the Local Government Council, and he was incarcerated after trial.

Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Police Command, CP Tunji Disu, who confirmed the arrest of Hart and Raphael , expressed concern over the increasing relationship between dysfunctional homes and crime.

He noted that, like Gift and Raphael, a significant number of criminals had a troubled childhood.

He, therefore, charged parents and guardians with the responsibility of moulding good behaviour in their children/wards at all stages of their development, noting that the home was the most significant agent of socialisation.

He further handed a note of warning to cultists in the state, reminding them of the command’s resolve to clamp them down.

Vanguard News