Following the arrest of Delta State kidnap kingpin, Kelvin Oniarah, and a clampdown on his Kokori, Ethiope-East West Local Government Area base to smoke his foot soldiers out from their stronghold, reports say they have resorted to making ritual sacrifices to scare away the security agents.
Coffins and sacrifices of dead animals with native chalk and other horrible-looking objects emerged overnight at different junctions on major streets in the town, all in the bid to cause fear, according to reports.
Kelvin’s comrade-in-arms, who thought the chief priest was invulnerable, were stunned when he was seized, Wednesday, by soldiers and his shrine destroyed. The fearless soldiers continued with their “internal operation”, yesterday, unperturbed, despite the antics of Kelvin’s men.
The police had earlier hesitated in destroying the shrine and arresting the chief priest despite having information that he was the one preparing charms for the gang.
“They believed it was power of the shrine that stopped the police from arresting the chief priest and burning the shrine when they struck in Kokori between March and April, so they were furious at the beating the chief priest was given when they arrested him,” according to a source.
The priest’s arrest and beating was said to have angered the youths in support of the nabbed kidnapper, which made them attack the soldiers on Wednesday, but the troops reportedly fired staccato of guns shots, as directed.
A villager told Vanguard, “One person was hit by a stray bullet and he died, I am not aware that 12 persons were killed, I live here, I do not know about that.”
“What happened is that soldiers entered the Egba shrine and arrested the Ose Egba, who is indeed, the person that makes different kind of juju for them and they really beat him, that is what they have being doing here to anybody they suspect and the youths, particularly those loyal to Kelvin were angry.
“They mobilized and confronted the soldiers, they have been setting bonfires and barricading roads to stop the advancing troops from coming in, but the soldiers came prepared,” she added.
“We woke up this morning to hear that government has imposed a curfew, 6.00 pm to 6.00 am in Kokori, the place is calm, as at now, I have not seen the soldiers in my street, may be, they are in other parts of the town, but there is calm.”
“Many people have fled the town but I am here, I have not done anything wrong, nothing is pursuing me, I am going about my normal duty. But there is fear everywhere, however, the soldiers are not shooting anybody, but you know soldiers, they can beat you at any time for any reason,” she added.