There was pandemonium in Awka, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State on Sunday during the Imo Awka annual cultural celebration, as cult members killed about 15 persons.
The reasons for the killing were not ascertained at press time, but lifeless bodies of the victims littered the state capital, eliciting tears from family members of victims.
About 7.30 pm on Saturday night, a young man was shot at Nkwelle Awka in front of his residence, while four were killed on Sunday morning and two shot at Amikwo allegedly.
Four were killed around Eke Awka, three killed around Nkwelle Awka, while one was killed around Regina Caeli Hospital, Awka, even as another was killed by 3pm on Sunday.
On the Imo Awka festival, two cult members were fighting in front of Isiagu Junction, Amikwo, Awka, by 4.30 pm before police and other security agents, including an anti-cult team, but they were not arrested.
However, on Sunday, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) took over Amikwo and other villages searching for members of the cult groups.
Our correspondent gathered that there were cult wars before, during and after the 100-year-old Imo Awka festival.
The cult groups fighting were said to be ‘Aiyee’ and ‘Bagger’, but it spread to other unknown groups and by weekend 10 boys had been reportedly killed in Awka.
Efforts to speak with SP Mohammed Haruna, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Anambra State command, was unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.
But a police source in the office of the Commissioner of Police (CP) said unofficially that the CP was worried over the development and had dispatched a crack team to sniff out the cause of the rampant killings and all those involved.
Despite the peace talk between CP Umar Garba and the Aiyee Fraternity as well as and Vikings Fraternity on December 31, 2017 at Trig Point Hotel, members of other cult groups have continued to unleash mayhem on residents.
The traditional institution in Awka and the town unions leadership have been in crisis over the rightful occupant of the throne and town union, but efforts to get Amobi Nwokafor, the president-general, Awka Development Union Nigeria (ADUN), or Obi Gibson Nwosu, the traditional ruler of Awka, to comment proved abortive.