From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
No fewer than four people were killed and about five houses burnt by cults, on Monday night, in Kabawa, a native area in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
It was the third time cult groups would clash this year, in the state capital, which led to several loss of lives.
The Monday night attack, it was gathered, involved two rival groups within the ages of 13,14, and 15 years who engaged in free for all which led to killing and burning of houses in Kabawa, a native area in Lokoja.
The crisis saw residents moving their family from the area to safe areas to avoid being engulfed in the crisis.
An insider disclosed that the crisis was as a result of reprisal by another group following the killing of one of their members.
The sources added that the cultists who were armed with guns and other dangerous weapons invaded some houses, attacked people and burnt houses they believed to belong to the rival group.
However, when the police stormed the area yesterday, to calm down the situation, some of the cultists engaged the security agent in a gun battle which lasted several hours before they were overpowered.
Some members of the cultists jumped into River Niger to avoid being arrested, and then swam to the other side of the river bank.
Meanwhile, the Kogi state police Command Public Relations Officers, SP William Aya, while confirming the incident, said 15 suspects have been arrested.
He added that the command could only confirm that one person was killed and that they were still investigating what led to the incident.
The state government has warned that it would take proactive actions against whoever is involved in the crisis.
The Kogi State Security Adviser, Commander Duro Jerry Omodara (retd), has warned cultists and other miscreants fomenting trouble in traditional areas of Lokoja to be ready for the government onslaught, as the State government will not allow anybody rubbish its successes in the area of security.
The Special Adviser, in a chat, following the rival cult crisis in Kabawa area of Lokoja, warned that, henceforth, anybody who feels he’s powerful should try the government, vowing that irrespective of how highly placed such person is, he or she would be dealt with decisively.
He assured the people of Lokoja and other parts of the State that the present administration will not shirk its responsibilities in fighting crime, be it armed robbery, kidnapping or cultism.