Policemen were reportedly left helpless as heavily armed gunmen attacked a Rivers community twice in two days, killing one person each time. Residents are reportedly now living in fear.
A barber and a youth have been shot dead by heavily armed gunmen suspected to be cultists in two separate attacks on Omoku community, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Student Pulse gathered that the cultists killed the barber, identified as Albert, in the first attack, Thursday morning and while an unnamed youth was killed in a second attack that occurred the night of the same day.
Though it is uncertain if the second attack was a reprisal, an eyewitness told Leadership that the police were present at when they occurred but were '"helpless" against the better armed gunmen.
“A lot of people are leaving Omoku because of insecurity.
“In the early hours of Thursday, some unknown gunmen invaded Omoku and killed one Albert, a barber by occupation who resided at Anamorji Street. They destroyed a lot of property worth millions of naira," he said.
“Later in the evening they attacked and killed another youth again. The police were there but they are helpless. These guys are more armed than them so the police are not able to do anything to handle the situation.”
But the Rivers Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmad Muhammad, told Leadership that the fight was between two rival cult groups and confirmed the two deaths.
“We are aware of such fight between two rival cult groups where two persons died and 17 persons were arrested," Muhammad said.
Cultism among Rivers' youths has been a nagging issue for the Rivers state police.
Just over a week ago, it was reported in the media that 15 suspected armed robbers and cultists were nabbed in their hideout at Prana Hotel, Akabuka in the same local government area where this killing took place.
It will be recalled that, in May 2014, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, announced the suspension of all youth bodies and activities in the state over alarming rate of cultism related violence.
“After a critical review of the recent happenings in the state especially the escalation of cult activities, it has become necessary to place a suspension on the activities of all youth bodies and groups," he said in the statement signed by the Assistant Police Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko.
Cultism is rampant across the country and was listed among the Student Pulse list of ‘Top 6 enemies of Nigerian education in 2014’.