Many businesses in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, were closed on Wednesday as a result of the fear of renewed violent cult killings in the city.
Shops and offices in the business hub of the city on Bedwell Street, Bassey Duke Street, Nelson Mandela Street, the Watt Market among others were shut in the wake of incessant shootouts in the area that have characterized the cult clashes.About 10 persons have been reported killed in various areas of the city since Sunday, when the fight broke out.
On Tuesday evening, a policeman was killed and two security vehicles set ablaze when they were attacked by a group of cultists.
In the early hours of yesterday two men were shot dead in their homes along 8 Miles in Calabar.
Addressing reporters yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration), Tunde Gbonlarumi, holding brief for the Commissioner, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, said on Tuesday at about 9pm, over 60 suspected cultists engaged the Atakpa Division of the Nigeria Police and other areas in Calabar South.
According to him, the cultists were engaged in a serious gun battle. In one of such gun battles along Bogobiri by Queen Duke Streets, two of the cultists were shot dead and one of them captured alive, he said.
In another development along Nkwa Street by Eyamba Street, he said men of the S-Squad who were carrying out a joint patrol with Operation Skolombo on that same Tuedsay evening were attacked by the cultists and after a heated gun duel, one policeman, Inspector Edem Archibong died. Another officer, Inspector Obonhga, was also shot but survived and is responding positively to treatment in a hospital, Gbonlarumi said.
He said a total number of eight suspected cultists have been arrested in connection to the crimes. He said they will be charged to court expeditiously at the end of their investigation.
He also said a woman was abducted in her home along Satellite Town by four gunmen also on Tuesday, but was rescued by the effort of the police, who locked all escape routes. When the kidnappers realized they could not escape with the woman, they dumped her and her vehicle, which they tried to escape with and disappeared.
He warned criminals that they will not be spared as the police is committed to smoking them out and ensuring the face the wrath of the law.
He urged law-abiding citizens not to be afraid, as they police would do their best to protect their lives and property.
The policeman also called for the cooperation of the media and general public to check criminality, as security is everybody’s business.
The last time there was a cult clash in the city was about three months ago when over 30 persons were killed in the brutal clashes.
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