By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Fear has gripped the people of Etekwuru community in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, following the reported killing of a man, identified as Mr. Emma Odiga, and his five-year-old daughter by suspected cultists.
A frightened member of the community, who spoke on grounds of anonymity, said: “The five-year-old girl was not only burnt beyond recognition when the cultists struck the second time, they also burnt the man’s house and the two cars that were parked on the premises.”
On how the problem started, the villager traced it to the alleged “killing of two cult members late August by soldiers, who were allegedly called in to check possible breach of peace in the community.
“When soldiers killed Ja-Rule Gbagbagba and Ejima Odiegwu, their colleagues started attacking people they thought were behind the invitation of soldiers. It was why they killed Odiga.”
He revealed that the rampaging cultists also tried to kill Odiga’s pregnant wife when they struck initially.
He said: “Two days after the man’s daughter was burnt to death, the cultists who had been trailing him, eventually got hold of him and killed him.
“The cultists are still on rampage” he added, and appealed to the state government and security agencies to come to the community’s rescue.
Contacted, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, said: “There are some reported cult cases in the Ohaji/Egbema axis. The Command is constantly on the trail of the criminals. We will not rest until we get all of them arrested.”
Calling for credible information that would lead to the arrest of the hoodlums, Mr. Lakanu said: “The criminals live and interact with people.
“These criminals are human beings. They do not live in the moon. The same people who are hiding them today, may turn to be their victims tomorrow.”