Residents of Captain Amangala Waterfront in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State, now live in daily nightmare as cultists have overrun the area.
But worst hit are the Waterfront’s female population who groan under the torture of daily rape in the hands of the armed cultist. A female resident who spoke to The Neighbourhood on Tuesday night from another residential hideout where she had sought refuge for the night, narrated the agony of girls and women in the area. An attempt by The Neighbourhood to visit the Waterfront on Wednesday was advised against by the resident who warned that it could attract “severe punishment” for her when the reporter would have left. “They may not accost you(the reporter) but they would mark me for severe punishment.”
According to the woman who now spends her night, with her daughter, at another location for fear of being ravaged by the rampaging cultists, who choose and storm residents of their targets at will, it was her option of staying safe, at least, for the moment. “But I wonder how long we shall be running from our house at night for fear of those boys”, she told The Neighbourhood, overtaken with emotions.
It was gathered that the cultists are so brazen in their evil act they rape their victims by the roadside and street corners even in broad day light with nobody intervening to avoid being killed. Not satisfied in the day time, they return at night to hoes where they rape any female found there. And they visit at odd houses of the night. What most families who reside their do is to send away their females to avoid falling victims.
“They break into homes at will, rape any girl or woman they may find there, including wives with their husbands kept under threat of death should they refuse or attempt to intervene. For us, we decided that every night, we shall leave the house to pass the night somewhere else. But I don’t know how long that will last.”
The cultists also rob residents and shop owners have forced residents to either return home on time or sleep in their shops if outside the Waterfront.
Captain Amangala Waterfront, a slum and mostly made of shanties, like most of such residencies in Port Harcourt, have no police or any sort of securer presence. With narrow and non-motorable paths, it is difficult for any patrol vehicle or policeman to access the area. The situation gives cultists unrestricted spectrum of liberty to carry out evils. “We wished the security agencies could come to our help”, the woman lamented.
The Neighbourhood was unable to speak with Nnamdi Omoni, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, of the Rivers State Police Command, for a reaction. However, a senior police source, not permitted to speak officially, said that the Command could really do little in terms of provision of daily and night surveillance due to the nature of the Waterfront. “The area lacks motorable roads. So, that poses the first and possibly the most daunting challenge to have it secured by the police. Often times those criminal elements commit crimes and run there to hide knowing that it would be difficult for security operatives to get there. However, the police would do their best to protect every law-abiding citizen despite their residence.”