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9 killed, houses razed, as gunmen invade two Ogoni communities

…The killers are cultist, says MOSOP

By Egufe Yafugborhi & Davies Iheamnachor

PORT HARCOURT—BANDITS, yesterday, invaded Taaba and Okwale communities, Khana Local Government Area, Rivers State, killing nine persons and razing several property.kidnapper, gunmen

Property destroyed include the palace of the traditional ruler of Kaaba, Chief Nule (jnr) and home of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, factional President, Legborsi Pyagbara, which was razed in Nyokuru community.

Unconfirmed community sources, however, believe those killed were more that the nine reported.

The displaced monarch, Chief Nule, narrated that the bandits first struck at Okwale in the wee hours of Tuesday, killing four persons before repeating same yesterday at Kaaba, where five persons were killed.

The monarch narrated that “it is confirmed that five persons were killed, my palace burnt down and other houses and businesses burnt down. This same thing happened in Okwali yesterday(Tuesday). These shootings were done in the early mornings.”

Another source in Khana Local Government said the gunmen, believed to be cultists, had on Tuesday around 8p.m., invaded Okwale community and killed five persons, noting that yesterday morning another set of gunmen attacked Taabaa community and killed four people.

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According to the source, “the attackers raided Okwali community yesterday (Tuesday) evening around 8p.m., shooting sporadically and at their targets.

“They killed about five people and also burnt many houses. This morning (Wednesday), they also attacked Taaba, a neighbouring community to Okwali, shooting and killing about four persons too.”

Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers State Command, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident and said the command has deployed more men to the area to curtail the situation.

MOSOP reacts

MOSOP, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Sunny Zorvah, said: “We received with sad reports of the sudden emergence of violence and killings carried out by members of some cult groups in some Ogoni communities.

“MOSOP is pained over this unjustified attacks leading to the burning down of the house of the MOSOP President, Legborsi Pyagbara, in Nyokuru community.

“MOSOP also feels distressed over reports of killing of about four persons today (yesterday) and razing of the palace of His Highness, Chief Nule (jnr) in Taabaa community and yesterday (Tuesday) killing of scores of persons and attack on the residence of Chief Monday Abueh and others in Okwale by cult gangs.

“This ugly situation demands urgent and thorough actions by the security agencies and every necessary action required of the government.

“We call on the Police and the special joint military task force to ensure the return of peace to the troubled communities, go after perpetrators of this barbaric and retrogressive onslaught on the communities, but without hurt on innocent persons.

“We also appeal to the traditional rulers, opinion leaders and other influential stakeholders to put their differences aside and work for the peace and security in the area.”

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