Business activities abruptly ended at about 2pm yesterday at the ever busy phone and Tech gadgets market in Garrison as gunmen invaded the market and shot one person dead in what seems like a trail to the popular market. Our correspondent who visited the crime scene at garrison reports that all shops were under lock and key as at three PM in the afternoon. Further investigation reveals that the busy market came to a halt for fear of police arresting passerby and traders around the crime scene. One free agent around the area confirmed to our correspondent that they closed shop not due to reprisal attacks but for police crackdown and arrest of innocent citizens over the incident. ‘’ he said we are not cultist or member of any cult group, we are all shocked too because we didn’t know that this kind of thing can happen in this market but because of police wahala all of us close shop’’
GUNMEN suspected to be cultists struck in three communities in Rivers state and reportedly killed 12 persons plus the garrison attack which left the trail to 13 on Monday.
Meanwhile stakeholders from the Ogoni axis in Rivers state have raised alarm over the incessant killing ongoing in various communities within the four local governments of Eleme, Khana, Gokana and Tai. While seven persons were allegedly mowed down in the Kaani- Babbe community in the Khana Local Government Area of the state; five persons, including a 64-year-old man, were killed in a fresh cult clash in the Rumuodogo and Rumuche communities in the Emohua Local Government Area.
Those killed in Kaani Babbe in the Khana Local Government Area by hoodlums clad in black vests were identified as Mgbibari Nyornyaa, Sorlesi Youngman, Dornu Aanu, Bariagra Menebe, Lekia Eleaee, Boy Mgbibari and Sira Mgbibari.
Speaking on the incident, the National Leader of the Ogoni Peoples Conscience, Gani Topba, told our correspondent that the gunmen attacked residents, who were sleeping in their houses, around 5am on Monday.
Topba called on government at all levels to take the issue of security seriously, adding that those murdered were not members of any cult, but law-abiding citizens.
He said, “The level of killings in Ogoni has been very high and what happened on Monday was not new. The people were sleeping in their homes when the gunmen invaded the area and killed them.
“Government at all levels must know that security is their obligation and they should take it seriously. If they can stop the killings in the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, they can also stop the killings in Ogoni. Government should know that Ogoni is part of Nigeria and also needs protection.”
In Emuoha local government area where five persons were reportedly killed in a suspected cult related attacks, where Bright Oteh, Foundation Onuekwa and Junior Kayin were said to be among the five victims of the latest cult attack in Emohua.
We gathered that three persons, who were hit by stray bullets, but rushed to a nearby hospital were receiving treatment and waiting to be transferred to university teaching hospital for further medical review.
A source within the community said ‘’trouble started when members of a rival group were attacked on their way to a funeral in what appeared to be a reprisal style of attacks. Honestly we are now living in fear because we don’t know who will be the next victims, imagine people going on the road were hit by their bullets, government should help us’’.
Recalled that eight persons were reportedly killed on Sunday when suspected cult members invaded the Mgbuodohia community, Rumuolumeni in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state forcing resident of the area to flee from the community.
However, when contacted the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni said that there was no cult clash in the Rumuodogo and Rumuche communities, adding that when a team of policemen was sent to the areas, it was discovered that both communities were peaceful and everything seems normal.
“he insisted that the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Emohua said no such thing happened. Some policemen were sent there and it was discovered that the two communities were very calm’’.
The Rivers state police spokesman Omoni confirmed the killings in Khana, but lamented the inabilities of the affected communities in that area to provide willing information’s to the police.
The PPRO pointed out that those responsible for the deadly attacks were living in the affected communities, adding that residents deliberately refused to volunteer information that could lead to the arrest of the culprits.
Omoni stated, “The DPO in charge of the affected area in Khana said that it was a cult-related incident. The families of the deceased went away with their corpses without allowing the police to catch a glimpse of the bodies for investigation purposes.
“The communities are not willing to give information and that is our challenge. The boys, who perpetrated this act, live in the communities; the people know them. They (communities) should give us information so that we can fight these common enemies.”