By Jimitota Onoyume, Port Harcourt
About 18 persons were killed by suspected cultists in Omoku, headquarters of Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area on Friday night.
Community sources said some of those killed were beheaded by the assailants.
They said the suspected cultists, who were heavily armed, shot into the air in the community between the hours of 8pm till about 10pm unchallenged.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, confirmed the death of six in the sad incident, saying it was largely a battle for supremacy among rival cult groups in the area.
“The incident is reasonably believed to be a battle of supremacy between rival cult groups in the town. As it is now, the situation is under control as more anti-riot policemen were drafted to reinforce the existing security in the town. As for casualties, six bodies of the suspected cultists were recovered”, he said.
The shooting created tension and panic in the council headquarters as many residents reportedly ran indoors.
“When we came out this morning, we started hearing wailing in several homes. A man and his wife were among those killed. Some were even beheaded “, one of the sources said. This incident came barely twenty four hours after a former member of the 5th House of Assembly representing the local government area and chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Hon Monday Eleanya was shot dead on Ada George Road, Port Harcourt, while driving out of his compound.
Media aide to the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the local government, Mr Hopeson Dike, also corroborated preliminary findings by the police that the incident was a fall out of inter cult rivalry.