Cultism

Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Suspected cultists on Tuesday attacked the Oba Akenzua Secondary School and the Ihogbe College in Benin, Edo State, wounding several students and teachers.

But for the prompt intervention of policemen, the situation would have degenerated to free for all.

Several students were reportedly wounded with knives and cutlasses by the invaders.

Both schools are adjacent each other and are located along ICE Road, off Wire Road, in Benin.

Eyewitnesses account had it that teachers and students scampered for safety when the cultists started shooting and attacking students.

It was gathered that the suspected cultists were heading for a target in the area where some students who were suspected to be members of junior rival cult group started throwing stones at them.

Thereafter, the cultists stormed the school and started inflicting injuries on any student at sight.

One of the students was said to have been fatally injured and was rushed to the hospital.

Heavy presence of security operatives were noticed when our correspondent visited the school.

Two of the suspected attackers arrested by the police were crying, insisting that they were innocent.

A resident in the area said activities of cult-related attacks have been on the rise in recent times.

Edo State Commissioner for Education, Emmanuel Agbale, who confirmed the incident, said no student was killed in the attack.

Agbale said policemen were quickly drafted to the area and the cultists were chased away.

Agbale said “students of both schools have always been engaging in fight. Security would be beefed up in the area. Plans are also on to merge both schools as one. For now, the schools would not be shut down due to the attack.

“Yes, there was a cult fight between two different cult groups and the fight took place at Akenzua secondary school premises where two students were injured with machete cuts by the cultists.”

Edo Police Command spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor, also confirmed the incident.

“It was reported that one of the cultists was beaten by a student of Akenzua Secondary School during a fight, as a result, members of his cult invaded the school (Akenzua) with cutlasses and started fighting the students,” he said