Residents flee as gang wars claim 18 in Rivers

Residents flee as gang wars claim 18 in Rivers

Monday, April 8, 2019 2:54 pm


Residents of Rumuodohia, Rumuolumeni in Obio-Akpor local area,a suburb of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital flee their homes to avoid being caught in cult gang war.

Rivers Police confirm attacks, security beefed up

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Residents of Rumuodohia, Rumuolumeni in Obio-Akpor local government ( a suburb of Port Harcourt ) in Rivers are fleeing  after killing of about eight persons and by rampaging hoodlums suspected to be cultists invaded their communities at the early hours of Sunday, April 7.

The incident, in which many members of the community were also injured, was attacks by rival cult members in the community.

The sporadic gun battle led to led to residents scampering for safety in nearby villages.

It was learnt that the cultists operated between 3am and 5am, a source told this magazine.

“It happened in the early hours on today (Sunday), between 3am and 5am. Policemen have actually been deployed there now. The police came after the cultists have finished their operation and left, ” the source, who preferred not to be mentioned, said.

It was also gathered that trouble started on Thursday last week, when members of two cult groups who went to demand illegal levy popularly called ‘marching ground’ from a land developer, clashed in the bush in the community

The Chairman, Rumuolumeni Community Development Committee, Sunny Odum, described the invasion of the community by a cult group as strange, adding that the killing of eight persons was unfortunate.

Odum called on residents of the community not to be afraid, promising that security operatives would soon apprehend those behind the dastardly act.

He urged the residents to go about their normal business, adding that measures had been put in place to forestall any recurrence of the incident.

Eyewitnesses who are mainly residents of the community confirmed that the incident was supremacy between two rival cult groups known as Degbam and Icelander cult groups in the community.

They also said the situation has caused many residents to flee the community over fear of reprisal a But Rivers State Police command say three persons were killed in the suspected cult clash.ttacks.

The Rivers police command says it has deployed tactical team to the community while another source said some soldiers are assisting the Police to forestall a reprisal attack.

Spokesperson of Rivers Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, noted that numbers of casualties stemming from the clash are still being counted.

Omoni, told our correspondent that the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Rumuolumeni has been given a marching order to fish out the suspected cult gangs and urged resident of the area to go back home assuring them of their safety.

Last week, residents of Elakahia and Choba communities near the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, both in Obio-Akpor local government area were rattled by sporadic gun shots, looting of shops and the killing of a 35 year old man married to two wives.

Also, in Rumuechem Community in Emohua local government area, two persons identified popularly as “Big Joe” and another were also shot dead.

Elsewhere in Ogoniland, the coordinator of a group known Conscience of Ogoni people, Gani Topba, has called on the Military to increase its presence in Khana local government area in particular, and four local government areas of Ogoniland to quell the rising gang war.

He claimed that more than 10 persons have been killed in Ogoniland in the past week from gang war.

Topba called on the Security agencies to move quickly to Ogoniland because of the likely selective attacks of leaders of Ogoniland.

“More than 10 lives have been lost in Ogoniland in past one week. We are not in a Boko  Haram territory. The constitution of Nigeria should be brought to bear in Ogoniland. President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state should come to our aid.”

At the time of filing this report, the state government has not reacted to the spate killings in some parts of the state in recent times.


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