30th November, 2014
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Omoku the headquarters of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government of Rivers state host to oil and gas companies was thrown into panic and mournful mood as no fewer than ten persons were killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed over last night.
It was gathered that Omoku was enveloped by sporadic gunshots fired by rival cult groups and among the victims was a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area, whose identity could not be ascertained as at press time.
Our correspondent gathered that many people fled the community, following the clash by suspected cult members.
Eyewitnesses in the area hinted that the cause of the incident arose from the fight for supremacy.
It was gathered that about 10 gunmen laid siege on the community at about 2:00 a.m. Saturday, shooting sporadically at people who were startled from sleep by the sound of firearms.
Occupants who tried to escape the onslaught of the rampaging cultists were shot at close range.
Another eyewitness account claimed that the gun-happy cultist searched from house to house and ordered some occupants out of their houses and shot them.
Victor Ahianmadu, the Caretaker Committee Chairman the local government council area confirmed that more than five persons including a chieftain of APC, were killed by the unknown gunmen. He refused to reveal the identity of the APC chieftain.
It is noteworthy that the Chairman of Rivers state, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Felix Obuah, was once the chairman of local government council.
However, Ahianmadu called on residents of the community who escaped the battle to return to their houses, as security operatives has taken over the community to ensure adequate security for the innocent.
The LGA urged the police to use its intelligence gathering acumen fish out the masterminds of heinous crime bring the to book.
Gift Nwokocha, the lawmaker representing Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni in Rivers House of Assembly lamented the reckless killings in the area. “Over 15 persons were killed by gunmen and this keeps happening unchallenged. Our people are hopeless and helpless despite being blessed with abundant natural resources.”
The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO,DSP Ahmad Muhammad, has confirmed the incident and attributed the shooting to rival cultism, assuring that the police has spread its dragnet to find the gunmen.
The PPRO who expressed worry at rival cultism urged members of the public to assist the police with relevant information on how to track the heartless gunmen.