By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT— Ekpeye communities in Ahoada East and Ahoada West Local Government Areas, Rivers State, yesterday, said they lost over 400 of their indigenes in the last two years to cult related killings.
The communities stated this during a solidarity visit by their chiefs, led by the former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Chief Chibudom Nwuche, to the palace of Eze Ekpeye Logbo, His Royal Majesty, Eze Robinson O. Robinson.
Speaking, Nwuche lamented that the communities had been in pains in the recent past, saying many innocent citizens were killed and beheaded.
Nwuche claimed that Ekpeye ethnic nationality was marginalized, contending that there were no good road networks in the area.
Describing Ekpeye as the third largest tribe and one of the major oil producing areas in the state, Nwuche alleged that the people of the area had been abandoned by the government.
He called on government at all levels and the oil companies operating in the area to provide jobs for the repentant cultists in the area. He said: “When you take a drive round our roads you see that our roads are not motorable. I call on government, because we support and work for them, to come to our aid. Our people are marginalized. We lost over 400 souls, some were beheaded, many women were raped. Many were killed innocently. For the first time in over two years we have come home to celebrate Christmas.
“I think the amnesty has added value and should be encouraged. All they ought to do is to ensure that these boys should be given a means of livelihood. I urge our people to support the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government and the state government to succeed. We should support his fight against corruption, be law abiding and protect the oil facilities in our area.”
Responding, His Royal Majesty, Eze Robinson thanked the youths of the area for accepting the amnesty programme of the state government, noting that peace has returned to the area.
Declaring Nwuche as the leader of the area representing Ekpeye at the centre, the Eze urged President Buhari to include him in his appointments.