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Outrage as ritualists behead 15-year-old street sweeper

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

Residents of EsukUtan area of Calabar, Cross River state capital have been thrown into mourning following the brutal murder of a 15-year-old street sweeper, Christopher Asuquo, by suspected ritualists.

Asuquo, who was a student of Command Day Secondary school, Calabar was killed and his head almost completely chopped off along the Murtala Mohammed Highway by Zone 6 Police Command while trying to help his mother in her street sweeping job at the early hours of last Friday.

The deceased’s father said his son was murdered at about 5am, and that he had asked the boy to accompany his mother to the place allocated to her sweeping job without knowing killers were lurking at the corners waiting to take the life of his son.

Speaking in an emotion-laden voice, Asuquo said: “I woke him up that morning to go and help his mother since her mother was not feeling well and they went. The next thing I heard was that my son’s head was chopped off.

“His mother said they shared portions so they couldbe done on time. This is for him not to be late to school. So, as his mother was sweeping down the road, she heard him shouting.Before she could realise what was going on, the shouting became intense and gradually faded.

“The place was dark since the street lights were not on. So, she ran towards him and discovered some men struggling with him, then she started shouting and calling on everyone. When they heard her shouting, they left him and ran into their vehicle and zoomed off. As she got there, she saw our son lying in a pool of blood with his neck almost cut off. They wanted to cut off his neck and do away with it.”

Also narrating the ugly story to journalists, the lad’s elder brother said, “I was sleeping at about 5:30am when my brother came and woke me up to tell me that our last born’s head was almost cut off at Highway where he was helping my mother to sweep the road.

“I did not believe it until I saw the corpse. This is not the first time that my brother is helping my mother to sweep the road, I don’t know why this has to happen to us at this time of the year.”

Unconfirmed reports say the lad was the fourth person in the area to have been so brutally murdered by ritual killers but regrettably, the police are yet to make any arrest. This has thrown residents of EsukUtan community into fear on who could be the next victim as security in the area remained porous.

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