Not less than five persons have allegedly  been set ablaze on claimed that they are witches and wizards in Oku community in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State.

It was gathered that some of the victims died after suffering from severe burn and some are still gasping for life.

An anonymous source in the community said the attack which took place on Thursday was sponsored by a political appointee of the state government.

The source said, “the elderly victims accused of being witches and wizards, were brought out from their homes and burnt. Some have died, while others still alive are writhing in pains. Those in pains could not get medical treatment anywhere, not even in Okundi, as the dreaded political appointee warned whoever treated those suffering from burns would suffer the same fate.”

It was gathered that among those burnt are three chiefs, Chief Benard Kekong who was former manager, Boki Oil Palm Estate in Borum. He died an hour after he was burnt. The others are Edward Kekong and John Otu who were still fighting for their lives.

“The Police in Okundi also could not do anything about the situation because the troublesome political appointee warned them to stay away from Oku. Villagers have fled to neighbouring communities on self-exile to avoid being attacked by the man and his boys. Even the clan head, Bernard Nku is also on the run.” the source alleged.

When contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Office of the State Security Adviser, Sir Alfred Mboto, said, “I have been able to reach my SSA (State Security Adviser, Central) and my SSA has been able to make contact there. He will give me a full briefing. But what they said was that some youths of the village decided to take on elders claiming that those elders are witches and wizards and one of the youths was using a mirror to show them who is this and that.

“But it is true that some properties have been destroyed. I want to get the raw facts because some people are even telling me that some people have been killed. We have to send our security informants to get the right information. However, if that happened, I have set in motion plans to arrest those who carried out the act along with the person who carried the mirror.”

When contacted at the time of filing this report, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo could not be reached on her cell phone.

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