By Oswald Agwu 

The people of Elugwu Ettam in Okpuitumo, Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi State have raised the alarm over series of mysterious disappearance of persons in the community resulting from suspected  ritual and cult killings.

 

The missing of over 10 persons in the area since March 2013 has brewed tension tending to tear the community apart.  

Investigation on the matter on Sunday by our Correspondent revealed that the State Police Command  has arrested over six persons in the community for cult related activities causing breach of the peace. 

In disarray over the sudden disappearances, the people have called on the Inspector General of Police and Governor David Umahi to intervene in the matter and save them from mysterious deaths. 

One of the victims,  Joseph Nichi Alegu was said to be missing in the community since June last year. Alegu was said to  have disappeared as he  went to buy food condiments  in Edukwu Agbalegu playground  in the area and was abducted . 

Another, John Igboji, a town crier in the community was kidnapped while carrying out an  announcement in Edukwu Agbalegu play ground  in the area in 2013 and was kidnapped. Till date, none of them nor their corpses have been seen.

Narrating her ordeal to our Correspondent  who visited the community, Christiana Alegu, wife of Joseph Nwichi Alegu  missing since June last year, appealed to whoever may have abducted her husband to release his corpse if he has been killed.

She lamented that since the disappearance of her husband, she finds it very difficult to cope with life and to feed her children.

She said amidst tears: “I and my four children have been suffering since they kidnapped and killed my husband, Joseph Nwichi Alegu. 

Ebonyi Governor

“Thing are very difficult for us because we no longer have somebody to feed us as a father. 

“My husband was all and all for us. 

“If they have killed him, they should at least release the corpse for us. 

“He was last seen in our community in June last year”.

Igboji’s wife, Angelina, also narrated how her husband got missing: “my husband was appointed town crier by the community. 

“Our then village chairman sent him to go and make an announcement to the community and that was how we saw him last. 

“He was  kidnapped and probably  killed, and we have not seen his corpse till today. 

“They should bring him alive or bring his corpse to us if they have killed him.

“I am just a peasant farmer, and feeding the seven children my husband left for me has been very difficult for me, and I do all manner of menial jobs to meet up. 

Corroborating the story, Emmanuel Igboji, a farmer and younger brother of John Igboji said  his brother  got missing precisely on the 29th March, 2013 as he was sent  on town  crying by their former village Chairman. 

He added: “My brother got missing at our play ground; Edukwu Agbalegu play ground in front of one of our brothers house. 

“He got missing while carrying out the announcement duty sent to him by our former village chairman. 

“After the announcement, he didn’t return again. 

“We searched for him everywhere and we didn’t find him.

“Our then village Chairman ran to police and made report but one Celestine Okah started querying him for reporting the matter  to the police without informing him first. 

“When the then village Chairman questioned Okah’s audacity to query his action, it rested to big problem in our community. 

“I am not happy the way he got missing.”He is the breadwinner of his family and he has seven children . “Only the wife is struggling to feed the children. 

“I have not recovered from the shock of his sudden disappearance from the community because we have spent a lot to see if we can see him but to no avail”.

The village Chairman of the area, Ejike Innocent Eze confirmed that over ten persons have been lost in the area lamenting that cultists and ritualists have taken over the area.

He  called on Inspector-General of Police to wade into the matter,  alleging that some persons arrested in connection with the persistent missing of people of the community have been released by the police and were walking freely in the area. 

He further accused a prominent persons in the area of sponsoring them.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Loveth Odah said a case of cultism in the community was reported to Ikwo Divisional police station and about six persons who she said confessed to be members of Vikkings confraternity were arrested for causing problems in the community.

Odah however noted that the missing of such number of persons as alleged by the community people were not brought to the knowledge of the Police,  assuring that all those arrested for cultism and cult-related activities will face the law. 

Odah explained further: “There are some people who are suspected to be cultists according to DPO, Ikwo. 

“He said those peop,e are from Okpoitumo Ikwo and they confessed to be cultists and belonging to Vikkings confraternity and that was all.

“If actually people have been missing as a result of ritual killings to the extent of up to ten persons, that means the people of that area are not doing well because they have never reported the case of missing persons.

“Though some many persons are claiming that those cultists are ritualists but they are talking about 1985, 1986. 

“So, by that time, the police that we have in Ebonyi state now have not come and my self have not joined police by that time. 

“So, there is nothing like that, it’s a case of suspected cultism and we have arrested some of them.

“Case of cultism is not pardonable in Ebonyi State. 

They are going to be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded”.

Odah advised members of the Community to go about their lawful duties and avoid engaging in acts capable of truncating peace and order in the State.

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By Mosvin Communications

Nation's Pride Newspaper is a production of Mosvin Communications located in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.

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