By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT—No fewer than eight persons were again feared killed and houses, including home of Khana Local Government Chairman, Lahteh Loolo and a wing of the palace of HRH T. W. Baridam, Gben-Neme Bangha, razed as bandits struck at Opouku and Bangha communities in Ogoniland, Rivers State, yesterday.
The bandits, it was learned, struck in the wee hours of yesterday, in same fashion they did barely a week ago when homes of factional President of Movement for Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, Legborsi Pyaghbara, that of the monarch of Kaaba, Chief M. S. K. Nule, among others, were burnt.
Commissioner of Police, Rivers Command, Mustapha Dandaura, who confirmed the incident, said only three persons were confirmed killed, while also confirming that two suspects had been arrested by his men.
According to him, “some persons are spreading rumours of 16 persons killed. It is not 16, only three were killed. And we have arrested two of them (the killers) through the DPO Bori. One was on camouflage. It’s cultists’ activities, not community disagreement.”
Community sources claimed six persons were killed in Opouku, where home of the Khana council boss was burnt, while two persons were reportedly felled by the intermittent shooting bandits at Bangha.
Several fear-stricken residents were said to have deserted both communities.
Recall that MOSOP had, last Thursday, raised the alarm over the spate of cult-related violence and killings in some communities in Ogoniland.
Mr. Sunny Zorvah, Publicity Secretary of the organisation raised the concern in a statement in Port Harcourt.
Zorvah said the crises, which started in Okwale community on Tuesday, degenerated and spread to two other communities, Taabaa and Nyokuru, all in Nyokhana district in Khana Local Government Area of the state.
Zorvah called on the Police and the special joint military task forces to quickly wade into the situation, fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
He also appealed to traditional rulers, opinion leaders and other stakeholders in the area to put their differences aside and work towards enhancing peace and security in the area.