Agony of woman whose son narrowly escaped cult initiation

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A mother of three in Benin, Edo State, Mrs. Martina Ikhide, is heart-broken. She betrayed emotion as she narrated how one of her sons, Omonfomam Gabriel Ikhide, was lured into initiation, beaten, bruised and manhandled by a cult group in Benin. She said: “That we are still alive up till now is a miracle. What was Gabriel’s offence? Why was he beaten like a common criminal?

“My son refused to join one of the cult groups rampaging over every part of our country that used to be a safe haven when I was growing up. “One of Gabriel’s friends usually visited my son in the house and, sometimes, drives him to football training at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and brings him back home. Even when Gabriel had official games, he was always there to support him as a big fan. Gabriel played good football.

“I never thought that my son’s friend, who didn’t talk much and was very calm, that showered Gabriel with such love could ever be a member of any secret cult. But now I can tell you that the man, who is older than Gabriel, is a green snake in green grass.

“He lured my son out one fateful day to meet with another cultist, where they fixed a date to initiate him into their cult group, only for my son to come back shaking in fear. He said they warned him that if he reported to the police, the sect will find out because their confraternity is a national cult that has their men all over the system.“My son said they promised to come after him and his family, if we try to report to the police. Gabriel came back from that outing that day trembling in fear. He was so frightened that the following morning he started isolating himself from our family morning prayer altar. “That was when I probed into what was wrong only to find out what my son was going through. Everyone in the family, including him, rejected such initiation plans.

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