Notorious cultists have laid siege to Owube community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, killing, maiming and raping residents.
Scores of elderly men, women, and chiefs from the community traveled to the Government House in Port Harcourt on Tuesday to protest the criminal activities of the cultists in their community.
The traumatized residents, who carried placards, complained that the cultists in their reign of terror, prevented them from going to their farms.
They said that the bandits were demanding an undisclosed amount of money as settlement before allowing peace to reign in their community.
The women urged Governor Nyesom Wike and the state Commissioner of Police to save them from rape and brutality perpetrated by the cultists.
One of the protesters, Mrs. Florence Eric, said residents of the community could hardly sleep in their houses following regular attacks by the cultists.
According to her, “Cult boys in our community do not allow us to go to our farms again. At night, they come and cause troubles; we do not sleep again. We don’t have rest.
“They kidnap at will. We cannot go out to look for food. We need help to survive this challenge. We want the government to help us in any way they can. These cultists are within our community. It is cult boys within our community joining hands with their friends from outside that are behind this. They barred us from going to farm again.
“They said we should come and settle them and we don’t know how to settle them. They said they need money from the community, but they did not mention how much they need.”
Another resident, Mr. Franco Confidence, said they besieged the Government House to submit a petition to the governor and the police on the need to urgently come to their rescue.
He said, “We came to submit petition to the governor over the incessant killings in our community. For over five years now, we don’t sleep in the community. People now sleep in the bushes.
“We have done all we can to restore peace to our community, but it has not yielded any positive result. We have submitted petition to the outgone Commissioner of Police in the state and the Ahoada West Local Government chairman, but nothing has changed.
“We still have high level of insecurity. We brought OSPAC, who come at night, but now these boys come in the afternoon to kidnap and rape women.
“We want the governor to come to our aid, as we are tired of sleeping in the bush. If they will give us a police post, we will like it. This upsurge started in 2016 and we have lost over 20 people and many have been kidnapped. Like my uncle has been kidnapped twice and we paid the ransom.”