Just when the people of River State were taking a New Year break from the crisis spree in the last few years, another clash has begun, this time, a Cult war. No less than sixteen (16) persons have been reportedly shot dead in Ula Upata community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, by suspected cultists.
According to an eye witness, Mr Frank Alabi, who saw what happened, said he was in his room when suddenly he heard gunshots. He quickly ran into a nearby bush from where he observed the rest of the shootout. Frank reported that the attackers, who were well armed, moved over to Ahoada West to kill six other persons, after killing 10 people in his village, Ula Upata.
“I saw everything. I was in my room when about five boys started shooting. The killing started about 12.05a.m. I was in my house when I saw the killers. They carried three AK-47 and two pump action guns. I called the DPO and the Joint Task Force, JTF.”
Among the 10 reported victims killed in Ula Upata village, was a Police Corporal, and nine other community members. However, the Rivers State Police Command said it was aware of the death of only eight persons. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmad Muhammad, confirmed that the suspected cultists were behind the murder, adding that the timely intervention of policemen saved the community from more deaths in the cult war, as well as caused them an untimely loss of a police officer.
“The incident was one of cult related clashes at Ula Upata community, Ahoada East council. Eight persons were killed. The quick intervention of our men stopped the situation from escalating. One of the suspected cultists was arrested and an English pump action gun recovered from him. Investigation is right now ongoing,” he said.