Unknown gunmen suspected to be secret cult members on Monday, reportedly killed two persons as crisis continued to rock Assa community in the Ohaji-Edema Local Government Area of Imo State.
According to a report by Punch Metro, the crisis was caused by the crude oil deposit in the community, as youths who belonged to different cults, were said to have engaged in supremacy battle over royalties paid by multinational oil companies operating in the community.
It was gathered that nine persons were killed penultimate week in the area, including a father of three, Vitalis Uwalaka, as the community was presently inhabited by elderly and sickly indigenes, while most residents had fled to neighbouring towns and villages.
Speaking to a correspondent on the crisis, Celestine Ogbuji, who is a community leader, said that the security agencies were not doing enough to handle the situation.
“Things are getting worse in our community. The cult killings have taken a new dimension since the past four months. They have been killing people, burning houses and raping women. There is no market in that place again.
“On Monday, two persons were killed. One is Mr. Ekero, but I don’t know the name of the other victim. For the past four months, at least 17 people have been killed,” he said.
Also speaking on condition of anonymity, another indigene, said the community had been deserted. “People have started leaving Assa community because of the killings. As I speak with you, I have moved to Ohuba town.
“It is unfortunate that the community that makes Imo an oil-producing state has been seriously torn by cult killings. And despite the oil, there is no infrastructure or any social amenity in the town except for few individual efforts,” he said.
A member of the Imo State House of Assembly, Emmanuel Orie, told a correspondent on the telephone that the Assembly had started an enquiry into the matter.
“There is a crisis in that community. There have been a lot of killings, which is affecting the growth of the community. As a member of the state Assembly representing the area, I have moved a motion on the floor of the House. We will address the crisis,” he said.