"Get out of here, or..." police officials said, threatening some cult boys that had gathered at Swali market that is gradually becoming a slaughter for dreaded cult members.

More than five persons have been killed within a week.

They were not deterred, as some of them responded: "Shoot na if e no enter, we go kill una".

Cult groups Icelanders, Greenlandic and Bobos have been in an endless supremacy battle. 

About 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, some market women told Bounce, the atmosphere at the slaughter house originally meant for killing of animals became tense again.

Some traders and their customers were busy outside the market gate, buying and selling and then, suddenly, some group of cultists arrived at the market Roundabout under the watchful eyes of Police officers.

They marched towards Swali bridge and sited members of another cult group.

Armed with guns and machetes, they chased them towards Ogbogoro community, caught up with one of them and murdered him at a culvert, few metres away from where the police officials were. 

Eyewitnesses said the boys between 14 and 22 years of age, brandishing their weapons, chased the police officers out of the market after they had killed the boy.

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"The officers who could not stand the fury of these cultists, took to their heels abandoning their vans and duty posts," a witnesses who requested not to be named told Bounce News.  

Bayelsa cult war and more deaths

At the site of police officers running, despite being armed, the traders abandoned their goods and scampered for safety.   

Daylight Robbery

The chaos lasted for about 40 minutes before the traders returned to their businesses.

Just when everyone thought the worst was over, the cultists returned to the market, barricaded the road, harassed and robbed passers-by of their mobile phones, money, wrist watches, wedding rings and other valuables.

Christians, returning from church suffered the same fate.

The robbery lasted for an hour while no police officer was seen.

Giving an account of the incident, an ice fish seller, Miss Timi Amos, narrated her ordeal.

"They robbed me of my purse containing 13,000 Naira being money l made from sales this morning and my phone.

"It will never be well with them," she cursed in bitterness.  

Small Arms From Cameroun 

A member of the Swali market committee who pleaded anonymity, told Bounce News that it was a sad scene, also giving account of how police fled from the cult boys.

"We were shocked and at the same time amused to see armed police officers running away from the cultists. 

"But, after the clash, towards evening the same policemen started arresting innocent male traders who had come to do legal businesses.

"They were taken to the station and bail was set for the outrageous sum of 20,000 Naira each while they allowed the cultists go scot-free.

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On the rising cult killings, the spokesman for the Police in the state, Mr Asinim Butswat, said "According to information at my disposal, rival cult groups clashed at Swali community.

"We don't even know the groups that clashed but we gathered that it's a cult related clash where one person died.

He, however, denied claims that his men were chased by weapon-welding cultists, highlighting that the weapons were coming in from neighbouring country.

Movie ticket

"We strongly believe that these small arms are not produced in Bayelsa State.

"We have arrested a dealer who confessed to importing these small guns from Cameroun through Calabar," he said.

He also stated that they had not received any report of armed robbery attacks at Air Force, Transformer and Sand Roads within Swali axis.

Asked what he would do to restore the confidence of residents in the police, he said: "Public security and safety in Bayelsa State is our core mandate.

"We are working hard so that people can be confident to move about without fear of attack".

Mr Butswat, then advised residents to volunteer useful information through their dedicated lines without revealing their Identities.

According to the police spokesman, their major challenge is in the co-operation with residents during stop and search or door to door search which is usually carried out to rid the state of criminal elements.

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