Judex Okoro, Calabar
Tragedy has struck Okundi village in Boki Local Government, in Cross River State’s Central Senatorial District, with seven people reportedly killed as a result of a violent clash between the local community and a cult gang.
In recent times, Cross River has witnessed unprecedented killings resulting from cult wars among rival gangs. In the last three months, about six people were killed in gun battles by the cultists.
The Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) is the worst hit institution, with three final-year students shot dead by rival cult gangs.
The latest killing in Okundi community was sparked off following a tip-off that the Old Osokom clan including Okundi was gearing up to launch an attack on the cult gang that had been terrorising the area for some time.
It was gathered that 12 villages that make up the Old Osokom clan in Boki had held a meeting in Okundi seeking ways to eradicate criminal cult activities in the area.
On getting wind of the meeting, the cult gang, which allegedly camped at the Apostolic Church in Okundi, close to Boki Boys’ Secondary School, struck, killing their first victim, identified as Bukie Bankong.
Bankong was said to have vehemently spoken against cultism in the community.
In what appeared as a reprisal attack, the entire community reportedly rose and attacked cult members, killing some of their members including Alphonsus Etta Ewung, Otu Agbor Edum, Joseph Bukie Bankong, Chief Paulinus Out’s son, amongst others.
Since the outbreak of the clash, several houses and property worth millions of naira have been reportedly burnt.
State Commissioner of Police Austine Agbonlahor confirmed the violent clash, adding that the police had been mobilised to the community to maintain peace.