More than seven persons have been killed in cult-related violence in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
According to residents of Ovom area, particularly Obele street, rivalry gangs have taken over the area, in their quest to assert supremacy.
The gang war, which started last Friday, led to the death of some gang members. The attacks continued unabated till Monday and residents have fled their homes for their safety.
One of the residents, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said: “Obele street in Yenagoa is now almost becoming a gun-free zone. Residents are leaving the community over insecurity. For the past few days, the sound of gunshots has continued to greet us on daily basis. Cultism has taken us hostage at Obele street. Crime and gangsterism have laid siege to the area.”
Residents and traders at the popular Tombia roundabout also said the area is no longer safe due to the high level of crime occasioned by cult groups. This is despite the presence of security operatives.
Confirming the attacks, Asimin Butswat, spokesman of the state Police Command, said: “Some key leaders in crime have been identified and arrested, while the Police is making efforts to restore lasting peace in the areas.”