• Monday, March 04, 2024
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BusinessDay

War against cultism, violence

Crisis erupts in Ondo community over traditional stool

… Rivers police kill kingpins in Ahoada, Khana council areas

The violent underworld community in Rivers State seems to have suffered big blow this weekend as two fierce gangs may have been hit hard with their commanders killed and some arrested.

The police command confirmed this in a statement, saying they have killed one of the most wanted kingpins in the dreaded Ahoada area as well as captured the gangsters terrorising Khana zone.

According to the statement signed by a superintendent of police, Grace Iringe-Koko, the command’s public relations officer (PRO), the police command has busted the fierce cult gang in Ubie in Ahoada where a man they had declared wanted for long, one Silas Okerereke, was killed.

Describing the feat as a major breakthrough, the State Police Command said they received intelligence and moved swiftly to Ahoada-West Local Government Area. “Oderereke, also known as ‘General,’ had been on the run for the past four years, evading arrest.”

At the end of the shootout, the police said, Odrereke’s reign of terror came to an end. The police claimed the suspect resisted arrest and opened fire but got killed instead.

The police statement went on: “As the head of the Greenlanders’ cult group in the Ubie clan of Ahoada West, Oderereke and his gang were infamous for their criminal activities, which included armed robbery, land grabbing, unauthorized sales of buildings, and brutal attacks on those who dared to oppose them. The cult leader would even order the destruction of houses in communities that resisted his criminal enterprises.

“On January 11, 2024, the police received information about Oderereke’s gang’s robbery operation, which also involved vandalising the property of the late monarch, Eze Robinson O. Robinson. Responding swiftly, the police chased the criminals out of town. However, the defiant ‘General’ rallied his gang and launched an attack on a community-owned tank farm in Oderereke, intending to loot its contents. It was during this sabotage attempt that the police managed to overcome him”.

Some of his lieutenants were killed but two others said to be collaborators named as ‘Danger-boy’ and ‘2-Man’, managed to escape. Jubilation has been high in the Ahoada zone where 2-Baba, the most wanted man for the alleged killing of a police commander, SP Bako, hails from.

Same weekend, the police cracked the cult gang that allegedly attacked an army officer in Khana local council area.

The police said they cracked a gang of five robbers said to be members of the ‘Dey-well’ cult group in Khana.

The statement said the Police responded to intelligence reports of the gang’s operations in Gbam-Boue, Kono-Boue and other neighbouring communities and promptly arrested them.

“Items recovered from the gang, after searching their houses, include ”five pieces of military camouflage uniform, one pair of camouflage shoes, one military cap, one mobile police uniform, a small bag containing electrical tools, one live AK-47 7.6mm ammunition, one live cartridge, one solar panel, and some electrical wires suspected to have been stolen from a serving military officer attached to Borno State.”