*By David Uka, Abakaliki*
Two people have been reportedly feared dead in Ezzangbo and Ngbo communities in Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi State following renewed cult clash between two rival cult groups in the area.
Ansalem Omah was first gunned down late in the night on Tuesday and what may be a reprisal attack one Paul was killed on Wednesday night.
But briefing journalists, Executive Chairman of Ohaukwu local government area in Ebonyi State, Hon. Barr. Clement Odah expressed shock over the killing of one Ansalem Omah who was gunned down by a rival cult group in the area.
According to him, criminal activities has since reduced in the area, adding that for the past two years cultism, robbery and the age long boundary dispute between the people of Agila in Benue State and Ebonyi State have been settled.
“The subject matter of this press conference is because of the current diversion from the new Ohaukwu local government area. When we came in, we were confronted by two kinds of insecurity. One, is the external insecurity, that was the war between Ngbo in Ohaukwu local government area and Agila in Benue state. That one, to the glory of God has been settled once and for all by the coordinated efforts of the Governor of Ebonyi state, Engr. David Umahi through the inter-boundary committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe.
“For more than two years now, we have not had any other problem from that axis and we have been enjoying peace. Second, is internal insecurity from some misguided youths who were deceived over time to believe there is something good in belonging to illegal societies.
“There are many of them but the most prominent is the bad society that is being churned out by our universities, that is cultism. I launched a decisive war against cultism from the first day I came in as the council chairman. It was difficult but by the Grace of God we succeeded.
“Before yesterday, I had boasted in many fora that we have won the war against cultism, and that was true because I refused to compromise. We have made it known that we have zero tolerance for cultism. So, for me, it was a shock when we heard around 10 to 11pm that one of our sons was gunned down here in Ezzamgbo, his name is Anselem Ifeanyi Omah.
“It was a very big surprise and shock. But we swung into action immediately alerting and contacting security agents from the Divisional Police Officer and all other security agents including the neighborhood watch and the local vigilantes. While we bear the pain of that avoidable loss, we have certain consolation.
“That is to the fact that we made it clear to the security agents that this is one crime that must be investigated. We made it clear to security agents that we are not ready to mortgage the peace we enjoyed over two years now for anything. We made it clear that the Government of Engr. David Umahi is anchored on the platform of peace and we do not want to tolerate any other situation than absolute peace.
“All the culprits who are involved in that crime, over 50% of them have been arrested. As at the last count, 8 persons are in the police custody. I want to commend the DPO of Ohaukwu police division. The operation started immediately and in less than 10 hours, majority of the culprits were arrested. While their arrest were effected, a lot of illegal firearms with which these criminals operated with were recovered.
“All the culprits are now cooling off in the state headquarters. The matter is being handled currently in the Criminal Investigation Department,CID, and we will follow it up to ensure that the culprits are brought to book”‘, he assured.
Spokesperson of Ebonyi State Police Command confirmed the incident and said that the matter was transferred from Ohaukwu Police Divisional Headquarters to the Command Headquarters yesterday.