From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
At least five people were reportedly killed by a suspected cult gang in Gboko and Makurdi Local Government Areas of Benue State between Wednesday night and the early hours of Thursday.
While four people were said to have been hacked to death in Gboko Town, one other person was reportedly shot dead at the North Bank area of Makurdi, the state capital.
Sources from Gboko Town disclosed that trouble started when two cult gangs in the area engaged in a battle of supremacy which resulted in the said casualties.
One of our sources who gave his name as “Tersoo” explained that the clash started last night and that by the time the dust settled, three persons were found dead at Gbar-Mkar in Gboko East.
Tersoo said that another person, a 21-year-old man whose name was given as Vershima Bendega, aka Ter Kwande, was also killed at his uncle’s residence located at Number 10, Iorkyaa Ako street Gboko Central same day.
He said the development had unsettled residents of Gboko with many shop owners keeping their stores under lock to forestall further violence.
Narrating how it all happened, Mr Celestine Bendega, Ter Kwande’s uncle, said: ‘Yesterday, around 1:00 am, we heard loud sounds of banging on the door. When I peeped from my room, I saw over 20 hooded boys with machetes and axes hitting somebody on the ground, after they certified the macheted person dead, they were moving door to door collecting monies and handsets including mine.
‘After the attackers had left, we came out and saw that my younger brother, Vershima Bendega, popularly known as Ter Kwande, who was a student of Akperan Orshi Polytechnic, Gboko had been macheted to death.’
Asked if he could identify any of the attackers, he said” ‘I couldn’t identify any of the attackers because it was dark and they were very hostile. The truth is that these guys came for their target.’
He explained further that the corpse of his deceased nephew was later evacuated by the Police and deposited at the morgue.
When contacted, the DPO of Gboko A Division, CSP Nelson Iorhemba, referred our correspondent to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) at the State Police Command in Makurdi.
Police spokeswoman DSP Catherine Anene confirmed the report in a short statement, saying three persons had already been arrested in connection with the killing.
‘Incident confirmed and three suspects arrested in connection with this case. Investigation is still in progress,’ Anene stated.