By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
At least three persons have been reported killed between Tuesday night and Wednesday in Ochobo, Ohimini Local Government area of Benue State.
Cult related violence marked by killings and torching of houses was said to have started in the early hours of Tuesday the 29th of October, 2019.
As of the time of this report, Ochobo, a bubbly community which is less than an hours drive from Otukpo, the most populated town and LGA in the Idoma speaking areas of the state and the undisputed political capital of the Idoma peoples is said to have become a ghost town.
Reports say the home of an influential resident of the small town and politician, whose son is a suspected target of the rampaging cultists, has been burnt down along with at least ten other homes.
Residents have fled the town and have been pouring into Otukpo since Wednesday morning to camp with friends and relatives, out of fear of being attacked.
The rampaging cultists are said to be members of two rival gangs dominated by youths of ages ranging between 17 to 35.
An eye witness running away from the community has lamented the freedom with which the miscreants have been operating in the community, with very little or zero resistance from the police, adding that this was not the first cult related clashes in the town.
As of Wednesday morning some of the cultists, most of whom are residents of the town, have moved from targeting their perceived rivals to extorting innocent community members, robbery and willful arson.
Recall that Otukpo township has been the theatre of very deadly cult clashes in the last two or so years.
The Benue State Government, itself beleaguered by even more pressing security and economic crisis since 2015 seems helpless in the face of these wanton violence.
A detachment of civil police mobilised to keep calm in Ochobo after the last bloody clash were accused by the residents of the arrest of innocent persons in the wake of the violence, most of them paying huge sums of money as bail.