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cult war claims 3 lives in Anambra State community

Residents of Amaokpala community in Orumba North government area of Anambra state are still counting loses following a recent bloody cult war that claimed lives of three indigenes and left others injured.

The three deceased persons in a morgue
The three Amaokpala youths that were shot dead during the bloody cult clash that rocked the community on May 16, 2020, include Ifeanyi Nwafor, Chidozie Nwafor and Cyril Ogbonnaya Ozoemena.

Orient Weekend gathered that tension remained high within the community over unending cult clashes and failure to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of the bloody violence within the area.

Callistus Obunike Okonkwo, a vigilante member, who escaped death during the cult war, recalled the event that nearly sent him to his early graves.

“I was shot during a gun duel that claimed three indigenes of Umudike village, Amaokpala, in Orumba North government area of Anambra state. Luckily on behalf of me , I survived after many days within the hospital”.

Bullet wound sustained by Callistus Obunike Okonkwo
Okonkwo said since the incident happened , he has not been ready to defend his family as he could barely walk, recalling how the community helped offset his medical bills at St. Michael the Archangel Hospital, Oko, from where he was discharged on May 20.

Narrating the incident to the present reporter, he said: “I was eating with my family once I received a call from a colleague asking that I joined them at Lon Vinco Hostel, where I later acknowledged that suspected cultists killed one Ifeanyi Nwafor, leaving him at the pool of his own blood.

“Before local vigilante came to the scene, the chairman of Amaokpala vigilante, Mr. Clifford Nwafor, had put a call to Oko police headquarters . So, on our arrival at the scene, people had deserted the hotel for fear of their lives.

“We searched and located the late Ifeanyi lying in one among the rooms within the hostel. He was later taken to hospital by the police once they arrived. The police ordered that we sealed-off the hostel.

“It was therein process that the suspected gang, perhaps, after a tip-off, came back to the scene during a V-Booth E-Class car and opened fire on the vigilante members within the premises, shooting sporadically with sophisticated firearms suspected to be AK47 riffle.

“I was shot first before I took to my heels as our local guns were no match to theirs. All I could remember after the incident was that I awakened to ascertain myself within the hospital, having fainted as a results of loss of much blood.

“It was after the sporadic shooting that we learnt that two other persons, Chidozie Nwafor (Cousin to Ifeanyi and only son of his parents) and one Cyril Ogbonnaya Ozoemena (a vigilante) were equally certified dead from bullet wounds during a nearby hospital”.

The three deceased persons during a morgue
The 40-year-old Okonkwo, decried lack of kit and vehicle by the vigilante as contributory factor to the entire disintegration of the vigilante outfit, calling on government to supply the needed equipment to assist them discharge their work. He described the event as embarrassing, appealing for support to defend his family, whilst he involved justice to fish out the perpetrators.

Another villager, who pleaded anonymity, alleged that late Ifeanyi Nwafor was a suspected cultist, who, he said, had problem with the fleeing prime suspects, which might later degenerate to his death which of other two persons within the community.

The source, a student of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, said activities of cult group was becoming rife within the area, blaming it on large presence of scholars and youths. She opined that justice should be done as a deterrent to other persons who, consistent with her, might still be indulging in cultism.

Late Cyril Ogbonnaya Ozoemena
The 23-year-old also said the community was looking up to the chief security officer and traditional ruler of the land, HRH Igwe Cyprian Okeke, to use his office to ascertain that justice is completed and perpetrators exposed.

Confirming the incident, the chairman of Amaokpala vigilante group, Mr. Clifford Nwafor, expressed shock over the incident, noting that such incident had never happened within the community since his 15 years of reign.

Late Chidozie Nwafor
Nwafor, who queried the rationale behind engagement in cultism by youths, regretted that such had cost other innocent lives within the process. He disclosed that soon after the incident, he was invited by the Enugwu Ukwu Anti-Cult Unit for a press release , saying that there had not been any update from the unit since the incident occurred mid-May.

Speaking on the challenges facing the local vigilante outfit, the chairman lamented that that they had no equipment and no operational vehicle to perform their duties diligently, decrying gross neglect of the local security outfit.

Hear him: “My brother, I sincerely don't want to speak on the condition of labor here or our unpalatable experiences with the police because, if one says the reality , he would be witch-hunted. However, we've no functional tools and our vigilante vehicle isn't good in the least .

“If we had enough resources, we might have combated their second attack .

Late Chidozie Nwafor
Late Ifeanyi Nwafor
“What of the stipends we are given? it's nothing to write down home about. We use our personal money for logistics whenever there's distress signal . Our meagre stipend should be increased in order that we will defend our families.
attack .
Late Ifeanyi Nwafor

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