Edo Govt Declares War on Criminals, Cultists, Vows to Flush Out Menace

Edo Govt Declares War on Criminals, Cultists, Vows to Flush Out Menace | Daily Report Nigeria


The Edo State government has issued a stern warning to criminals and cultists terrorizing residents, vowing to rid the state of their menace.


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Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, made the declaration during a visit to wounded soldiers and a police officer shot by suspected cultists in Okomu-Ijaw Community, Ovia South West local government area.

The government condemned the attack on soldiers by civilians in the community, linking it to the nefarious activities of cultists.


Nehikhare pledged the state’s support for the wounded military officers receiving treatment at the Military Base Hospital in Benin City, promising to foot their medical bills.

Nehikhare, who said Governor Godwin Obaseki frowned at the attack on military personnel, said a task force had been set up by the state government led by the director of the Department of State Services (DSS) to combat cult groups in the state.

“It is not right in any way for the military to be attacked in any community in Edo State. A few weeks ago, we were all aware of what happened in our neighbouring Delta State, where over 20 soldiers were killed by some youths.

“In Edo State, we have a terrible case of cultism and what we also call Okaigheles (youth leaders) in Benin and across Edo South Senatorial District. The data available to us provided to the State Security Council have said that these are the people who are primarily responsible and are a threat to the security of Edo State.


“That is why this group of people were banned, and a task force was set up to investigate their activities to neutralise their evil plans.


“As the governor placed a ban on the Okaigheles (youth leaders), we discovered that some people also went ahead and said they should ignore the government ban. There’s only one government at a time, and that encouraged these people to go into the Okomu forest in our community to attack the soldiers protecting our assets. One of the soldiers is on the bed in critical condition. Three personnel, an officer, and two soldiers were severely injured.


“The gunboat they were in was destroyed and riddled with bullets. This is happening in Edo State. We don’t want a situation where we will be losing soldiers to civilians or reckless and dangerous cult groups.


“We plead with our leaders, the leaders of Edo South especially, to rein in their children and rein in these people that they have armed one way or the other because the arms they are using are kept somewhere, provided by somebody. Now, they are using it to attack soldiers, not only soldiers but even civilians, on the streets of Edo State.


“We have come to quickly visit the wounded officers and the Army to plead with them and, importantly, to let them know we will take care of whatever bill is incurred and to assure them that Edo State government will not tolerate this untoward behaviour.

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“We don’t want what happened in Odi Community in Bayelsa State to happen here in Edo or a repeat of what happened recently in Delta to happen here.


“It is a serious matter, and all Edo people, irrespective of political affiliations, must support the government in this fight against cultism and killings going on. Since January till date, we have lost 150 people in cult-related violence.


“I am here to plead with the Army, and we are happy that the Army is a very responsible organisation that did not take the laws into their own hands; if not, the story would have been different today,” Nehikhare said.


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