Barely three days after the Cross River State government in Nigeria declared 35 suspected cultists wanted and vowed to demolish any house owned by the suspects or where the suspects are hiding, the government swung into action on Thursday.
A demolition squad arrived Ekpo Abasi in Calabar South and brought down houses allegedly owned by a suspected kidnap kingpin, Kufre Eyo-Etim, also known as Romance. He was among the 35 suspects declared wanted.
The houses are in a mini estate located at Idim Ita street, off CRUTECH community.
Another property owned by a suspected cultist was also demolished at Bedwell in Calabar South on Thursday morning. The building was allegedly used as a brothel and was owned by Cyril Bassey, a councillorship candidate in the May 30 election, who is also among the 35 people on the wanted list of the state government.
The State Security Adviser, Southern Senatorial District, Ani Esin, who led the demolition squad with men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, said that the government and security operatives have been on the trail of the suspects for some weeks.
“These are buildings of suspected kidnappers in Calabar, who also trade in hard drugs. These buildings were used as hideouts for criminals in Calabar metropolis. We have been on this exercise for some time now, trying to fish out the criminals in their hideouts.
“For some time now, there have been cases of cult clashes which have led to the death of many people. We are taking those deaths seriously; we must get to the bottom of the matter by arresting those that were involved in all the recorded deaths.
“We will stop at nothing in getting justice for the deaths of those affected. The state government is determined to ensure that lasting peace is returned to Calabar. We are collaborating with all relevant agencies and stakeholders to deliver on this mandate,” he said.