There is disquiet in Galadimawa, Nyanya and some other parts of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, over growing deadly activities of cult groups. Residents of these areas claim that lives are lost on weekly basis. Innocent citizens are easily swooped on and their phones, money and other belongings taken away from them.
Each location has different cult group commanding it. But their style of operation is the same. For instance, at Nyanya, Masaka and Mararaba axis of the capital city, the groups that hold sway included Aye (Neo black movement) and Buccaneers. The residents told Daily Sun that members of these groups are notorious for wreaking havoc on the areas,
Against their wishes, locals in the district are forced to retire to their homes before nightfall as a result of dangerous gangsters’ activities. A police officer at Nyanya who pleaded anonymity claimed that cult members “are mainly responsible for all manner of criminal activities ranging from car theft, snatching of mobile phones, armed robbery, kidnapping and rape cases being reported to the police.
“We know that these hoodlums belong to cult groups. They are involved in all manner of criminal activities. Most of these cases are brought to us on daily basis.”
A resident of Nyanya, Alhaji Abubakar Yerima, said residents do not sleep as a result of the activities of the cult members. He said the groups often engage in gang fights lasting for several hours: “They openly engage in fights, shooting at one each other and destroying properties.
“They rob innocent people either at home or while returning from their places of work. We need government’s intervention. When they started newly they only snatch phones and collecting money from victims.
“On December 10 precisely, where I live in New Nyanya Phase 4, Karu, came under attack by the cult groups. But we were enable to chase them to a garden called, ‘me and you’ in Gwandara within the Karu Local Government Area. When we informed the New Nyanya Police Station patrol team of the incident, they refused to follow us to chase them.
“Most of their operations are from Masaka to Mararaba, every week at least two to four are killed within the rival groups. Shop owners don’t stay till midnight anymore when they normally make more sales because of the fear of attacks by cult groups.
“Now, they enter houses and rob. Last month, there was a clash in New Karu between the two groups. Four persons among the group were killed. The military had to intervene for two days before the area was brought under calm.”
Complaints about under-aged cultis have in recent time dominated discourse in Galadimawa, a town in Abuja Municipal Area Council, (AMAC).
One Chris said the under-aged, most of them secondary school students, meet every night and threaten innocent residents of the area: “It was on the day of the Champions League semi-final between Liverpool and Barcelona. We were watching the match at a viewing centre opposite my house and everything was going on until half time.
“I came out from the building to receive fresh air during the usual 15 minutes half- time break when a gang of 15-20 boys stormed the premises shouting and making animal noises. Luckily for us they were searching for a particular person so they did not pay attention to us at the viewing centre.
“They passed us and headed straight down the road, we heard some of them saying, ‘if we catch am we go kill am today, today.’ It was terrible, some people could not stay to finish up the match they saw it as a bad sign.
“Many things are going on in this Galadimawa. For a very long time we have not received reports of rape cases. But of recent, I heard a girl was raped as at two weeks ago and we suspect that those boys had a hand in it.”
He called on the police to save the lives of innocent citizens by tracking and stopping the spread of cult membership among young people: “At the centre of this unfortunate development is unemployment. We need to tackle the issue very well.”