About 10 people have been killed during a month-long cult war in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State though armed mobile policemen had been deployed in the area to restore peace.
According to a source, last Sunday night some hoodlums, suspected to be members of dreaded Degbam cult group, stormed Umuoga and Amaku in Igbodo community, Okehi town and went on killing spree. Two people were reportedly shot dead, while two others were critically wounded.
One of the deceased, Nnamdi Ajaegbu, was said to be the only child of his parents, whose father is based in the United States.
A source disclosed that most of the attacks were carried out near the council’s headquarters in Okechi, usually affected non-cultists. The development has forced the council’s staff to close early.
The command’s deputy spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the deployment of policemen in Okehi flashpoints which include Obibi, Okehi, Igbodo and their neghbouring communities, in so-called troubled communities.
According to eyewitnesses, a policeman, who led an operation with other colleagues from the Nnewi Central Police Station (CPS) in Anambra State, was shot also dead last weekend at Akaboukwu Uruagu Nnewi by an independent oil marketer and a member of vigilance group who mistook the victim for a thief in his compound.
Meanwhile, a member of a vigilance group in Ezengwu Ebe community Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area allegedly killed two women and injured three others when his gun fell off his hands at a burial last weekend. Eyewitnesses said the suspect and the chairman of the vigilance group were arrested by the police.
During a tour of police formations in Nnewi area, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Gwary Usman, had said that a new blueprint for the operations of vigilance groups would soon be released.