The Delta State Police Command has arrested 25 suspected cultist members and eight others involved in criminal activities.
Parading the suspects on Wednesday at the state police headquarters, Asaba, the state police commissioner, Ari Muhammed Ali, said the 25 suspected cultists were arrested in Sapele following a raid carried out by his team as a result of the incessant cult-related killings and criminal activities in the area in recent times.
Ali disclosed that among the suspected cult members, two were arrested by the Divisional Police Officer, (DPO), B Division, Asaba with two pistols recovered.
He said a suspect who specialised in illegal oil bunkering was also arrested and that six suspects from Plateau State were arrested with guns, daggers, charms and others.
He identified some of the cults the suspects belong to as Junior Vikings Confraternity (JVC), Buccaneers, Eiye, Black Axe, Aye, among others.
Ali said the suspects were arrested alongside some of their girlfriends when the raid on their hideouts was carried out in Sapele.
He said, “Following the last one week, crime rate has increased in the state and I decided to launch a very violent attack on criminals in the state and we are getting results. I have mobilised over 10 different crack teams to Warri, Sapele and Ughelli axes and other parts of the state to ensure that crime in these areas is brought down to the barest tolerable level so that people can sleep with their eyes closed in the state.
“However, we cannot do it alone, we need the support of the public. We need their cooperation; we need the assistance we could get from them. Not just them alone, we want other sister agencies to also join hands with us so that together we can take Delta state to great heights in crime fighting.”
Ali, who said all the suspects would be charged to court, warned criminals to relocate from the state.
He said criminals who refuse to leave would be found, adding that in the coming days, the war would be taken to criminal hideouts across the state.
“Since my assumption of office as Delta state commissioner of police in January 2021, I have warned all criminals in the state to relocate. Whether kidnappers, cultists, armed robbers and whatever you are, you must relocate from the state because I am definitely not here to play, I am here to fight crimes.
“I have drawn the battle line with criminals and I can assure Deltans and residents that all criminal elements must run away from the state and those who refuse to run away will be dislocated. We have just started and anybody who is a criminal, definitely will have his or her cup filled up.
“For my gallant men, I must give them pats on their backs for taming all these criminal elements. I want them to know that I am solidly behind them. They should consider their assignments as that of selfless service to their fatherland and whatever it is, the state and federal governments are also solidly behind them. We will always ensure that their interest is taken into consideration at all times.”