A suspected female cult member, identified simply as Josephine, has stabbed Miss Lilian Friday, her classmate, in the right eye, over Lilian’s refusal to join her secret cult.
The suspect and the victim are both SSS-1 pupils of Community Secondary School, Otuoke, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
It was learnt that the incident happened in the community, country home of former President Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday.
The suspect (Josephine) was said to have been mounting pressure and persuading her victim (Lilian) to join her cult group, which she declined persistently.
The victim’s uncle, Mr. Benson Agiobu, said his niece said Josephine and her gang insisted she must join their cult group, else they would teach her a bitter lesson she would live to remember.
Agiobu said, “On her way, she (Lilian) met her classmate who insisted that she must belong to her cult group. When Lilian refused her for the umpteenth time, she became angry.
“It was at that point she (Josephine) alerted other members of her confraternity who were with her.
“Members of the cult group held Lilian down while she was stabbed in the right eye with a sharp object by Josephine and they took off.”
He said the prime suspect, Josephine, is a native of Ayakoro and Otuokpoti communities in Ogbia LGA, while his niece (the victim) is a native of Emeyal 1, in the same LGA.
It was learnt that the victim is currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in the state.
A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the damage done to Lilian’s right eye was such that she might need a surgery to correct the eye.
“The eye was badly damaged. Right now, Lilian cannot see with the right eye. She has been placed in an intensive care unit in a hospital. She will require surgery for her to see with the right eye again,” the source said.
It was also learnt that as soon as Josephine and gang carried out the dastardly act, they took to their heels and efforts to get them apprehended have not been successful.
Speaking on the development, a human rights group actively engaged in anti-cult activities in primary and secondary schools, Patriotism Advancement and Community Orientation Network, has condemned the incident.
The Convener, PACON, Aluzu Augustine, said his group had since March 11, 2018 embarked on a campaign against cultism and drug abuse in Bayelsa, describing the act as “barbaric and demonic.”
Aluzu called on more support for the campaign against cultism and drug abuse, saying it had eaten deep into the fabrics of society, particularly in schools.
The rights activist said, “Nothing breaks our heart more than getting reports such as this, especially when the perpetrators are children.
“The Nigeria Police, Bayelsa State Command, has been doing great in fighting cult groups in the state. However, they need to double their efforts in communities outside Yenagoa, the state capital.
“There is need for community policing. All stakeholders in Bayelsa State need to come out so that we can collectively stamp out cults from the state.
“It is our belief that the act is induced by opioid because no right thinking individual would gather so much wickedness in her heart to injure a fellow human being.”