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Anambra community fingers masquerade cults in policemen’s death

By Uzoma Nzeagwu and Osiberoha Osibe, Awka
17 December 2019   |   3:06 am
Oraifite Progressive Union (OPU) has indicted two cult groups in the killing of two policemen and injury to many others on December 2, 2019

Oraifite Progressive Union (OPU) has indicted two cult groups in the killing of two policemen and injury to many others on December 2, 2019, in the community.

The indictment amounts to the exoneration of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that had been indicted by federal security agencies in the matter.

President-general of OPU, Sir Sunny Igboanuzue, also revealed that the Office of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) had taken over the case.

Two rival cult groups reportedly clashed in Oraifite, Ekwusigo Council of Anambra State on December 2 leading to the fatalities.

Igboanuzue spoke at Godwin Ezeemo International Press Centre, Awka, yesterday on behalf of the town union, as well as the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Dan Udoji, the Obi Udoji VIII, and his cabinet during a press conference attended by the executive members of the union, the Igwe-in-Council, past presidents-general, women/youth leaders of the union, and four quarter chairmen of the community.

He condemned alleged misrepresentation of facts by some individuals, including Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on the saga and indicted two rival communal masquerade cults – Otu Eke and Otu Afor – whose members he claimed had been selfishly hijacked, in recent times, by certain unscrupulous individuals who “recruit hoodlums and miscreants into the group and misalign its activities with its ethos.”

He stated: “The new leadership of Otu Eke, on the premise that they have registered Otu Eke with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and therefore have exclusive right to the use of the ‘Otube’ (the masquerade identified with the cult) regalia their trademark, decreed that the two new rival groups will no longer be allowed to identify themselves with Otube or its regalia in Oraifite.

“In the morning of November 30, 2019, members of the Otu Afor faction attired in their Otube regalia, during the burial ceremony of their member, Chukwudi Olafor (an elder brother to the lawyer to Indigenous People of Biafra, Ejiofor Okafor), were attacked by members of the Otu Eke faction in a bid to enforce their prohibition of any other faction from identifying with the Otube regalia.

“It was alleged that one of the masquerades was publicly unmasked and some individuals injured. Subsequently, about mid-day, the leadership of the Otu Eke faction, in furtherance of the decree, ordered some hoodlums and miscreants to go to the burial venue and arrest members of the Otu Afor faction in the Otube regalia.”

According to him, the hoodlums and miscreants invaded the burial venue, gathered a lot of people, publicly disrobed members of the Otu Afor in Otube regalia and took some of them to the residence of their leader

Member representing Ekwusigo Constituency in the House of Assembly, Onyebuchi Offor, noted that the case bordered on alleged treason and arson.

He was glad that the IGP had waded into the matter, hoping that justice would be done.