A middle-aged man, one Anselm Umah was yesterday shut dead by unknown gunmen, who are believed to be cultists, in Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi state.
This development was made known by the chairman of Ohaukwu LGA, Barr. Clement Odah, while briefing journalists at his council headquarters located at 135 Ezzingbo, along Abakaliki/Enugu expressway.
Meanwhile, the second person, one Paul, whose surname was yet to be identified at the time of filling this report, was also killed after the briefing by the chairman.
Odah expressed huge shock over the killings, stressing that since he came to power in 2016, the local government has been peaceful and devoid of cult-related activities.
He said: “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.
“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 youths 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.
“We have made it known that we have zero tolerance for cultism. So, for me, it was a shock when we heard around 10 to 11:00am that one of our sons was gunned down here in Ezzamgbo, his name is Anselem Ifeanyi Omah. He does not make trouble.
“It was a very big surprise and shock. But 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.”
Odah further stated that at least 8 persons have been arrested by the Ezzimgbo divisional police in connection with the killings.
“All the culprits who are involved in that crime, over 50% of them have been arrested. As at the last count, 8 persons are in the police custody. I want to commend the DPO of Ohaukwu police division. The operation started immediately and in less than 10 hours, majority of the culprits were arrested. While their arrest were effected, a lot of illegal firearms with which these criminals operated were recovered,” he stated.
When contacted, the PPRO of Ebonyi state police command, ASP Loveth Odah confirmed the incident, stressing that there was a transfer of such case from Ezzingbo divisional police command to the state police headquarters.