Following a renewed clampdown on violent crimes in parts of the state, the Benue state Police command has arrested over 100 suspected cultists in Markurdi, Benue state capital.
The arrest of the suspects is coming on the heels of several cult-related killings in parts of the town by rival cult groups which have claimed no fewer than seven lives in the last few days.
Sources at the Command Headquarters told us, yesterday, that most of the suspects were arrested in Wadata, Wurukum and North Bank areas of Makurdi, adding that the police embarked on the operation to stem the tide of cult-related activities in the town and environs.
The sources said: "What is happening in Makurdi has become a source of concern to everybody. Cult activities have been on the increase leading to the death of several persons in town and the police will not watch these miscreants continue to create a state of insecurity in the town.
"That is why there are increased police patrols in all the nooks and crannies of the town in the last few days."
The sources added that the police have commenced thorough screening of all those apprehended during the special operation so as to ascertain their complicity.
Meanwhile, when Vanguard visited the Command Headquarters yesterday, parents and relatives of some of the suspects were making frantic efforts to get them bail.
In the last few weeks, Makurdi had witnessed an upsurge in cult related activities. Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent Philip Agena, declined to comment on the number of the suspects so far arrested.
However, he confirmed that the Police had commenced raids on hideouts of criminals in Makurdi.