A computer science graduate of the University of Jos, Amos Lucky, paraded alongside nine other suspected cult group members on Wednesday said he was lured into the group by a final year law student of the institution.
Mr Lucky, 25, said he belonged to the secret cult group called Black Axe, and paid N3000 per semester as due to the leader of the group, whom he called Zambruta.
The suspect spoke while they were paraded at the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) military task force in Jos.
“I was initiated in 2016,” he said. “I was invited to a party, when we got there we were taken to the bush around Bauchi Ring Road and beaten. I wanted to leave the cult but I was afraid because if you leave and they see you on the street they will beat you. They don’t really kill but they will beat you,” Mr Lucky said.
Spokesperson of OPSH, Adam Umar, an army major, said the suspects were arrested during a raid on criminal hideouts in the Jos metropolis.
According to Mr Umar, the suspects had been terrorising people in Jos.
“OPSH raided some criminal hideouts of some gangs and cultists leading to the arrest of some of their members who are responsible for insecurity being experienced across the joint operational areas.
“Specifically, on October 21, 2018, six cult members were arrested and preliminary investigation led to the arrest of four others who have been profiled, cross-examined and their statement obtained.
“Analysis of the revelation from arrested group members revealed that there are five distinct cult groups operating in Jos under various appellations as Neo Black Movement of Africa (NBM), aka Black Axe; Supreme Viking, aka Baggar/Arrow; Aiye Buccaneers and Tin Gold, aka Blue Bird, ” Mr Umar said.
The spokesperson said OPSH remained resolute to deal with any form of criminality that may cause insecurity in the state.
“OPSH therefore wishes to reiterated that it would remain resolute to decisively deal with all criminal acts that are inimical to peaceful co-existence on the Plateau and hereby assures residents of their safety,” he said.