Edo: Suspected cultists hunt family of member who renounced membership

12:46 Apr 16 2024 Edo State

Suspected cultists have hunted members of the Richard family in Benin city, Edo State, out of their residence over the alleged sin of one of their sons, Cliff, for renouncing cultism some 23 years ago.
The family which has abandoned their house located at No. 4, Ire Street, off Wire Road, Benin City for several years, now take refuge at an undisclosed location in Lagos state, following threats by the cult members to hunt them down.
Cliff’s alleged sin was that,being the Don and director of operations when he was a member, he knew too much of the confraternity’s secret and so, cannot renounce his membership.
Narrating their ordeal, a member of the family, Osayomore Richard, disclosed that trouble started when his elder brother (Cliff), renounced membership of one of the dreaded secret cult group after becoming a born again Christian andsome 23 years ago.
According to him, Cliff’s “sin” is that as the Don of the fraternity and the director of operations, he disrupted the activities of the brotherhood when he suddenly quit, adding that he also knew too much of the cult’s secrets and so they cannot afford to let him go.
Speaking from a secret location in Benin City during a recent visit, Osayomore said: “They made it clear to my brother, that as a prodigal member, he has a choice: either he is penitent and come back home or he is doomed.
“At initiation, they said that my brother was told that membership is for life and that renunciation is not an option.”
He added that Cliff had to flee to South Africa on the night of 1 September, 2000, when the hoodlums invaded their family house with guns in a desperate attempt to kill him.
According to him, although Cliff managed to escape death by the whiskers, his father was however shot on the leg by the thugs. The traumatized father who survived the gunshot injury has since passed on.
“It’s a case of the sins of one member of the family being visited on the rest. We have not known peace ever since my brother, Cliff was attacked by angry ex-colleagues for renouncing membership of one of the brotherhoods in September 2000.
“Some crooked politicians, who lost elections are also after him too for turning down mouth-watering offers to perpetuate violence and snatch ballot boxes.
“The cultists, armed with guns, have been to our family house several times to look for Cliff and have threatened to kill us, his siblings except we hand him over or disclose his location. We had no choice but to lock up the house and run away. We are afraid.
“Cultism is a big problem in Edo State whether in Benin, Auchi or Ekpoma. So many young and promising lives have been wasted as a result of the bloody feud. We, the Richards are now strangers in our lands. We are on the run. It’s very serious that we can’t go back to our house in Benin anymore,” Osayomore said.
Investigation reveal that except for the janitor and a few tenants, the large house has been abandoned and largely unoccupied for years as none of the Richard brothers, including Osagie and Efe, has dared step foot in the house following series of threats to kill them.
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