July 13, 2024

Five feared killed, many injured in cult-related violence in A’Ibom

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Ini Billie, Uyo

At least, five persons have been feared killed and many injured during a supremacy clash between two rival cult groups between Ibeno and IIaje indigenes in the Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

It was gathered that property worth millions of naira were destroyed as the cult clash snowballed into a community crisis between the IIaje fishing community and their host on Wednesday.

The clash was also said to have resulted in casualties among the warring parties, even though the actual cause of the fracas has yet to be ascertained.

Sources averred that the crisis started as a cult clash before assuming an ethnic dimension, adding that the Ilaje people, mostly fishermen, started fleeing the community through bush paths, while their houses and tents are being looted and destroyed by hoodlums.

When the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko Macdon was contacted, he said that he was not aware of the crisis, adding, “I am not aware but I will find out”.

However, a lawyer, Oluwajuwon Ogunbiyi, counsel to a group of fishermen in Ibeno confirmed the incident, describing the situation as unfortunate and calling on the state government to set up a committee to investigate the crisis.

He said: “It is quite unfortunate that this crisis has led to the loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties. Ibeno community had been a good host over the decades to both indigenes and non-indigenes who have been living there in harmony without rancour.

“I appeal for peace and an end to hostilities from both warring parties. I also want to call on the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, as well as the head of all security agencies in the state to intervene in the matter immediately in order to stem the wave of violence.

“The state government must as a matter of urgency set up a committee to look into this crisis so as to ascertain the major cause. Perpetrators fanning the embers of war on both sides must be arrested immediately,” he stated.

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