Cult killings: Police inaugurate 70 vigilantes in Edo

Determined to stem the spate of serial killings by rival cultists in some neighbourhoods in Benin, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Kokumo,  on Monday inaugurated 70 vigilantes in Ikopaba-Okha Local Government Area of the state.

Upper Sakponba Road, Third East Circular Road and other black spots in the local government, part of Benin metropolis remain the scene of bloody feud between suspected rival cultists leading to the untimely death of scores of people, mostly youths.

In the ongoing bloody clash, suspected cultists, weekend reportedly shot at a police team around upper Sokponba junction by M. M way during which an Assistant police Commissioner and one officer were injured.

Kokumo said that policemen will no longer fold their hands and allow criminals to run riot, killing innocent people and policemen.

He said: “It’s our responsibility to sanitize the state and the Inspector General of police has gone ahead with confidence building of the police after the #EndSARS.

“We will keep talking to our men not to police with bitterness. But never again will it happen for someone carrying jack-knife to kill a policeman carrying AK-47.

“The police will no longer fold its hands and die like chicken. I want everyone to take the message home to neighbours and their children.

“Police should use their arms professionally. If our lives are in danger, we will have justification to use our arms.”

The commissioner of police disclosed that the police have made a number of arrest in connection with “all manner of crimes,” adding that policemen will be on 24 hours joint patrol with sister security agencies in the local government.

The chairman of Ikpoba-Okha local government, Dr Eric Osayande said the vigilantes will be under the council’s payroll, will “complement existing security architecture in the area.”

Osayande added: “Governor Obaseki directed that we should call all Enigies (district heads) to go back to the traditional methods of vigilantes to fight insecurity.

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