By Jimitota Onoyume
About eleven persons were feared dead in Omoku, headquarters of Ogba Egbema Ndoni local government area of Rivers State, following a shooting spree by gunmen who stormed the area Friday night and yesterday afternoon.
Community sources told Sunday Vanguard that the gunmen, who wore masks, shot indiscriminately for several hours on Friday night, adding that they later fled when men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, engaged them in a shootout. The gun were said to have regrouped, yesterday afternoon, to continue the shooting at the market.
Sources feared the shooting may not be unconnected with plans by some politicians to hijack the collection of Permanent Voter Cards which commenced in the area on Friday.
Among those killed, sources said, was a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was simply identified as Godspower.
The Chairman of the local government area, Mr Austin Ayamadu, who condemned the incident, appealed to residents to remain calm, assuring that security men had taken charge of the area. Ayamadu said the gunmen went from one street to the other shooting before security men swung into action.
The Chairman, who could not confirm the death toll, said some persons died in the incident.
“Unknown gunmen invaded Omoku and started by killing an elder of the APC and some other people were also killed. The figure I cannot immediately say because of the security situation, but it is more than five”, he said.
Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, who confirmed the development, said it was a clash between rival cult groups, stressing that security men were on top of the situation.