The Nigerian police force in Rivers State killed a wanted cult leader, identified as Silas Oderereke, and his accomplice during a shootout in Oderereke community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of the state.
Oderereke, aka ‘General’, was the Greenlanders’ cult group leader in the Ubie clan in Ahoada West and had been on the run for the past four years.
A spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the death of the two renegades in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, said the notorious cult leader and his gang were involved in armed robbery, land grabbing, unauthorized sales of buildings, and brutal attacks on those who dared to oppose them.
On how the miscreant was gunned down, her statement said, “On January 11, 2024, the police received information about Oderereke’s gang’s robbery operation, which also involved vandalizing the property of the late monarch, Eze Robinson O. Robinson.
“Responding swiftly, the police chased the criminals out of town. However, the defiant ‘General’ rallied his gang and launched an attack on a community-owned tank farm in Oderereke, intending to loot its contents.
“It was during this sabotage attempt that the police managed to apprehend the gang.
“Silas Oderereke and one other member of his gang opened fire on the police team, leading to an exchange of gunfire. In the shootout, Oderereke and his accomplice were neutralised while others sustained injuries.
“Two other clan leaders, Danger-boy and 2-Man, who frequently collaborated with Oderereke, managed to escape and are currently at large.
“Upon searching the gang’s hideout, the police discovered a G3 Rifle and nineteen 7.62x51mm ammunition.”
The state police image maker added, “Further investigations uncovered a camp Oderereke had established between Oderereke and Olokuma communities.
“This camp served as a base for the cult leader and his numerous followers, from where they launched robbery attacks on innocent members of neighbouring communities.
“The affected communities expressed their relief and shared accounts of residents who had relocated to Port Harcourt due to the mayhem caused by the cult group.”
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, commended the operatives for their discreet investigation and for neutralizing the hoodlums.
CP Disu warned cultists and other criminal gangs to turn over a new leaf or be ready to face the law, saying the command under his leadership will make the state unbearable for them until they are smoked out.