Posted by Nelson Dafe, Benin City | 12 September 2015 | 4,222 times
Just after the general elections in Nigeria held on March 28 and April 11 this year, Edo was plunged into a crisis as members of clandestine secret cult groups in the state engaged each other in open warfare.
Fear gripped innocent citizens of the state as not only members of the cult groups were being targeted in an ugly orgy of killings – their family members, including mothers, were also being slaughtered in a senseless show of cowardice and wickedness.
While the actual cause of the crisis was and still remains sketchy – with some attributing it to the disagreements that followed the sharing of financial booty from politicians during the elections – what was clear was that something drastic needed to be done to stop the loss of lives.
In stepped the then new Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Ariase, an Edo indigene. He reportedly ordered a crack team of federal police officers to Edo State, and their presence was devastating for cultists who hitherto literally ran the state as some kind of feudal lords. Many influential cultists (some working in government) were arrested, paraded on state and national TV, and later arraigned in court for their crimes, as the crack squad swung into action. They (the police) became feared again and cult activities have since then been forced back underground in Edo.
The man that led that Special Task Force to Edo State as a Deputy Commissioner of Police, (DSP) Chris Ezike, is now fully in the saddle as the Commissioner of Police. He formally took over from his predecessor, Mr. Samuel Adegbuyi, at the state police command headquarters, Benin City, on Sunday, September 6.
The State Government-owned Nigerian Observer, from which this story was sourced, said about Ezike’s exploits in fighting cultism in Edo and kidnapping in Kogi state: “It will be recalled that no fewer than 96 suspected cultists including leaders of cult groups were arrested, paraded and charged to court in Edo following covert operation of the Chris Ezike-led IG’s Task Force.
“Also, in Kogi State, a politician along with 44 others suspected to have connection with
kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes were apprehended by the special squad.
COMPOL Chris Ezike has also headed the IG’s Monitoring Unit of the Police Counter-Terrorism Investigation Unit.”
Shortly after a brief handover ceremony, COMPOL Ezike stated: “Our job is nomadic; you move from place to place so what has just happened today is a part of a process of knowing Nigeria and re-engineering Nigeria.”
On the task at hand Ezike, who is the 35th CP to serve in Edo, said: “We shall rediscover Edo State, interact with our officers, all non-state actors, the people of Edo State, small, big, male, female and then move the state forward. The whole essence is to have a more secure, a more peaceful Edo State for better prosperity.”
•Photo shows new Edo State Police Commissioner, Chris Ezike.
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