At least two persons have been killed in deadly clashes between rival cult groups in Ezzamgbo, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
While one person, Anselem Omah, was killed on Tuesday evening, a second victim, whose name was simply given as Paul was gunned down Wednesday night.
Also in the aftermath of the shooting, at least eight persons have been arrested in connection with the death of Mr Omah.
Confirming the incident, the chairman of the council, Clement Odah, said the killing of Mr Omah is regrettable as the area been relatively peaceful for a while.
Mr Odah, who briefed journalists on Wednesday evening, charged security agents to arrest and prosecute all those involved in the murder.
“The subject matter of this press conference is because of the current diversion from the new Ohaukwu Local Government Area. When we came in, we were confronted by two kinds of insecurity. One, is the external insecurity, that was the war between Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area and Agila in Benue State.
“That one, to the glory of God has been settled once and for all by the coordinated efforts of the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi through the inter-boundary committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe,” he said.
“For more than two years now, we have not had any other problem from that axis and we have been enjoying peace. Second, is internal insecurity from some misguided youth who were deceived over time to believe there is something good in belonging to illegal societies.
“There are many of them but the most prominent is the bad society that is being churned out by our universities, that is cultism. I launched a decisive war against cultism from the first day I came in as the council chairman. It was difficult but by the Grace of God we succeeded,” he added.
The chairman described the slain Mr Omah as a peaceful young man and blamed cultists in the area for his death.
“It was a shock when we heard around 10 to 11 that one of our sons was gunned down here in Ezzamgbo, his name is Anselem Ifeany Omah.
“We swung into action immediately alerting and contacting security agents from the Divisional Police Officer and all other security agents including the neighborhood watch and the local vigilantes. While we bear the pain of that avoidable loss, we have certain consolation. That is to the fact that we made it clear to the security agents that this is one crime that must be investigated.
“We made it clear to security agents that we are not ready to mortgage the peace we enjoyed over two years now for anything. We made it clear that the Government of Engr. David Umahi is anchored on the platform of peace and we do not want to tolerate any other situation than absolute peace.
“All the culprits who are involved in that crime, over 50 per cent of them have been arrested. As at the last count, eight persons are in the police custody.”
Mr Odah said all the suspects have been transferred to the State Headquarters Abakaliki.
Police spokesman in the state, Loveth Odah, confirmed the report and the transfer of the suspects.
She promised to brief the media later today.