In the heart of Rivers State, Nigeria, a chilling tale of terror and brutality has unfolded over the past 13 years. A reign of fear, perpetrated by ruthless cultists, has left the once-thriving communities of Akoh Kingdom in Ahoada East Local Government Area in a state of despair. At the center of this horrifying narrative lies the gruesome murder of Mr. Bako Angbashim, a gallant police Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ahoada Division. His tragic demise, marked by the gruesome decapitation of his head and the desecration of his private parts, has sent shockwaves through the region. In this article, we delve deep into the harrowing details of this reign of terror, explore the dynamics of the cult activities, and shed light on the quest for justice and restoration of peace.
The Reign of Terror Begins
The reign of cult-related violence in Akoh Kingdom commenced around 2010, casting a dark shadow over the 14 communities in Ahoada. For over a decade, the area has been under the iron grip of daredevil-minded cult leaders who have instilled fear and stifled progress. During this period, it is estimated that more than 100 lives have been brutally extinguished as the cultists tightened their stranglehold on the communities.
The Code of Silence
In a city controlled by these cultists, residents have been living in perpetual fear. The cultists, fully aware of the power of media and the influence of the police, imposed a code of silence upon the community. Any individual who dared to report their criminal activities to the police or speak about them in the media faced immediate danger. They were declared wanted, hunted down, and often subjected to gruesome fates, including death and the destruction of their homes.
Angbashim’s Murder: A Turning Point
The murder of Superintendent of Police Bako Angbashim stands out as a turning point in this gruesome saga. Angbashim, a man committed to restoring peace and order in the area, fell victim to the cultists’ brutality. His dedication to bringing an end to the reign of terror cost him his life. The Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, declared Gift David Okpara Okpolowu, also known as “2Baba,” the prime suspect, and placed a staggering N100 million bounty on his head.
Collateral Damage: The Impact on the Communities
The reign of cult terror has left the communities of Akoh Kingdom in ruins. Development has been stymied, and residents have lived in constant fear for their lives. Ogonor Obodokwe, a leader in Odiemudie, painfully recounted how the cultists killed Angbashim, their helper. He described how he had been forced to flee his own community due to the cultists’ reign of terror.
Obodokwe lamented, “For more than one year, I no longer lived in my community because of cult activities. What they are doing there is not the kind of life I want to see.” He further expressed his disbelief and sorrow over the murder of the DPO who had come to help restore peace.
Reign of Cult Generals
The hierarchy of cult leadership in the area is marked by a series of “generals” who wield significant influence and instigate violence. General Igbudu, whose reign was marked by criminal activities along the East-West Road, met a tragic end in an accident. Following his demise, General High-Tension assumed leadership, perpetrating violence and terror. Eventually, 2Baba took over, intensifying the cultists’ reign of terror in the region.
Comrade Richard Igbo, the Youth President of Akoh Youth Congress, emphasized the ruthlessness of these cultists. He stated, “You can only be in the community when you are in the good books of the cultists; maybe you have not said anything against them. If not, they will come after you.”
A Promising DPO Cut Down
SP Angbashim’s tenure as the DPO brought a ray of hope to the beleaguered communities. His efforts to curb the cultists’ activities earned him the admiration of the people. The communities had even planned to honor him with an award for his brave attempts to drive the cultists out of the area before his tragic murder.
Each of the 14 communities in Akoh Kingdom has suffered immensely, losing ten or more of their own to the violence. In the area controlled by 2Baba alone, more than 30 people have fallen victim to the cultists’ brutality.
The Battle for Justice and Restoration
In the wake of SP Angbashim’s murder, security forces have launched a relentless pursuit of the killer-cultists. However, this mission has not been without its challenges. Security personnel, in their efforts to apprehend the culprits, have resorted to burning down houses suspected of being linked to the criminals.
Efforts to establish a police post in Akoh Kingdom, aimed at improving security, have been thwarted by the cultists. The local government Chairman initiated the construction, but the cults forcibly stopped the project. The community now calls upon the Inspector General of Police to support this endeavor and deploy a tactical team to the area.
The Call for Rule of Engagement
The Civil Society Organization in Rivers State has urged the security forces deployed in Ahoada to maintain the highest standards of engagement during their search for the killers of SP Angbashim. Community cooperation is seen as vital in identifying and bringing criminals to justice, yet the cultists maintain connections and resources that empower them.
Enefaa Georgewill, Chairman of the CSO in the state, emphasized the need for careful handling of the investigation to avoid compromising the process. He also called for caution regarding disclosures that could impact ongoing investigations.
The battle for justice and the restoration of peace in Akoh Kingdom continues. The communities, once held captive by fear, are determined to break free from the clutches of these ruthless cultists and rebuild their lives.
In conclusion, the horrifying tale of the reign of terror in Akoh Kingdom serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by communities plagued by cult-related violence. The memory of Superintendent Bako Angbashim, who paid the ultimate price while trying to bring peace to the region, stands as a testament to the resilience of those who seek justice and a return to normalcy in the face of unimaginable horror.