Community leaders lament cultists’ activities, killings in Udu council
Leaders of Ovwian Community in Udu Council Area of Delta State have lamented activities of cultists in the area, exacerbated by the recent killings of several persons in the community
President General of the community, Chief Matthew Uparan yesterday bemoaned the situation in which cultists have virtually overran the community and killed scores of persons in the last six months.
At an emergency meeting to address the development, the leaders disclosed that rivalry between cult groups have led to the loss of innocent lives, armed robberies and burning of several houses.
They said the murder of community members had reached an alarming level that even the local vigilance group had become overwhelmed, as some of the members had been killed by armed cultists.
Uparan said there was a moment of respite when CSP Anniete Eyoh (aka DPO Slap) was deployed to Ovwian/Aladja police division as divisional Police Officer (DPO), adding that the community heaved a sigh of relief as the police intensified effort towards ending insecurity in the area.
He said CSP Eyoh’s tactics, decisions and moves brought the situation under control, but that as soon as he was transferred after nine days, the situation worsened.
He added that the cold-blooded murder of indigenes of the community and recent attacks on the Ovwian Harbour Sawmill Market made the situation to go beyond the capability of local security agents.
He said, “We are sad over the killings, armed robberies, arson and destruction of property in Ovwian Community. In recent times, scores of persons have killed, several houses razed, while property worth millions of naira have been stolen or destroyed by hoodlums.
“It is a complex situation for very fact that sometimes the situation actually deteriorate to fight between rival cult groups resulting in direct attacks on innocent citizens.
“The people are subdued and now live in fear, especially in the night when they sleep with one of their eyes open in anticipation of attacks. Most residents who have fallen victims and those who could not cope with the situation have relocated from the community,” he said.
The community, therefore, appealed to the state government to establish police patrol team and special checkpoints at strategic locations in the area, especially the Ovwian Roundabout and Express Junction.