Some residents of Masaka and environs in Nasarawa State have expressed worries over the increase in activities of cultists in the area, saying they now live in fears.
The residents said that the hoodlums had graduated from cultism to armed robbery.
They said they were so disturbed about the situation because police in the area had not been leaving up to expectations in curtailing the menace.
They, however, called on the government to take steps to secure lives and property in Masaka, pointing out that security of lives and property was a major responsibility of government.
A civil servant, Gabriel Ogabu, said that in the last nine years he had lived in the area, there had been a steady increase in cult activities.
He said that shop owners in the area usually got notices from the cultists on their impending attacks, a situation that usually made them close down their business.
“We have not had peace of mind in this environment because of the incident that occurred last week’s Friday which took the life of a man who never knew what was going on.
“It was a clash between two rivalry cult groups who vandalised things in the streets and forcing people to run into their houses. In the process the innocent man was shot by the cult guys.
“Those that have shops around closed before the closing hour and those who love their lives remained indoors,’’ Ogabu said.
According to him, the security of the residents now solely depends on individual efforts.
Also, Mr Ikyav Emmanuel said that the area has suffered from the menace for the past two years since he moved in.
Emmanuel said that clashes by cult groups in the area had gradually graduated to robbery.
“We have experienced these cult activities for the past two years now. It used to be clashes because of the various cult groups around. But recently, it has turned into frequent armed robbery.
“What we know about cultism is that they attack rival cult groups, but what we are seeing now is beyond cultism. I believe it is the cult guys that are doing all these.
“They raid shops. Most of the businesses in this area take place from 8:00am to 9:00pm and that’s the time these boys come out. Shop owners are always sacred to open their shops.
“The security agencies are doing nothing about it. When these boys come out and you run to the police station, they give you excuses,” he said.