Monday, April 15, 2024

Anambra community protests cultists’ killings, accuses police of collusion

Some indigenes of Awka, Anambra State capital, on Wednesday, protested against what they described as “mindless killings of kith and kins by cultists,” even as they accused some police officers in the state of allegedly aiding and abetting cultists and cult-related.

The protesters moved from the popular Ogbugbankwa Park to Eke-Awka Roundabout, and from there they moved to Igwebuike, Parkers Junction, Ukwu Orji, Area Command, and then back to Ogbugbankwa.

They wielded placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Enough is enough,’ ‘ Say no to bribery and corruption,’ ‘We are not happy,’ and ‘Our children, brothers, husbands, cousins, relatives are being killed on a daily basis.’

The protesters carried a mock coffin, which they said signaled the burial of the cultists, just as they gave a seven-day ultimatum to the police to do the needful by arresting the perpetrators.

It was gathered that the protesters were drawn from the Ezinano community and 20 villages in Awka.

The Chairman, Ezinano community, Tochukwu Nwokoye, said they embarked on the peaceful protest to bring to an end the activities of cultists in Awka.

Nwokoye said, “It is our humble hope to have these cult-related killings stop forthwith. Our brothers are going down daily due to cultism and cult-related attacks. We will not keep quiet and watch these heinous crimes and man’s inhumanity to man continue.

“It is time to put a stop to it. We are really in a very touchy situation. There is palpable fear everywhere. We cannot go back and come back in peace. We are really afraid. People are dying every day.”

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Richard Onuorah, stated that the community would no longer condone the killings and maiming of their people.

Onuorah explained that they cried their eyes out every day owing to the incessant cult-related killings in the community, even as he called for the immediate removal of some police personnel in the command.

Another protester, Obi Modilim, noted that they were tired of burying their kinsmen and called for an end to what he described as “incessant killings and maiming of our people.”

Modilim said, “We want them to return the ‘blue shield operatives’ back to us. They should allow them to move freely. We are okay with them. The operatives are the people we know. They have been securing us. We want them back.”

When contacted on the development, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, stated that the police cannot descend so low as to compromise security in the state capital by shielding cultists, even as he said that the police would investigate the matter.

Ikenga said, “Those they mentioned their names are very experienced officers. They have been around, especially the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of SCID. These officers mentioned will be investigated. We cannot sweep the allegations under the carpet. We must do a thorough investigation.

“As you can see, the state is mourning the former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinju. We would not want to heat the state. We have asked the families of the deceased to come forward and prove their cases.

“The allegation that the Deputy Commissioner of Police was recently transferred from Rivers State is false. He has been around. We know his antecedents, which is not to say that we’ll not investigate all the allegations leveled against the police.”

The state PPRO added, “Awka has been relatively peaceful. We are working with the community and they have been providing us with vital information that led to the arrest of a notorious killer and he’s currently helping us out on investigation.

“He equally confessed to all manners of atrocious acts he has carried out in Awka. We are here to maintain law and order.”

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