The Akwa Ibom State Government has threatened to close down hotels and entertainment centres in the state that are linked to cultism and other criminal activities.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Ini Ememobong, disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday.

Mr Ememobong said the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and security agencies in the state have already set up a monitoring team to enforce the order.

“This decision is informed by credible intelligence that hotel owners and proprietors of entertainment centres have given their premises to cult groups and other criminal gangs to use as their base,” he said in the statement.

“The public, especially proprietors of hotels and places of entertainment should take note and act accordingly.”

Residents of communities along Nwaniba Road, Uyo, have been living in fear lately because of frequent clashes among rival cult groups.

“We have to rush back home every day at least before it is 7 p.m. and lock ourselves inside our houses because of the fear of these (cult) boys,” a business woman living in one of the affected communities told PREMIUM TIMES, Monday.

“We are appealing to the police to do something about the ugly situation before innocent people are killed,” she added.

A secondary school, Uyo High School, Uyo, was temporarily closed down last month by the state government after some of the students, suspected to be members of a cult group, deposited some fetish items in front of the school principal’s office and threatened to attack him over the arrest of fellow members.

Eight people were killed and some houses set ablaze in Esit Eket Local Government Area of the state in May during a clash between two rival cult groups.

The Akwa Ibom State Government had proscribed 32 cult groups in the state in 2018.

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