Masquerade allegedly kills spectator in Rivers
…police call for calm in Okrika, begun investigation
Masquerade performing in a traditional festival had allegedly killed one spectators during an outing in Rivers State.
The incident, the Guardian learned, happened at Abam Community in Okirika Local Government Area of the State on Wednesday.
It was learned that the masquerade traditionally called ‘Ekpo’ had charged on his victim and allegedly hacked him to death during the festival.
The development, however, degenerated into communal misunderstanding between the people of Abam and George Ama community where the victim hailed from.
The source who preferred anonymity narrated: “A masquerade was performing at a festival. He killed a youths with stick. The incident is causing problem between the people of Abam and George Ama people.”
Confirming the development, yesterday, the Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, narrated that the masquerade performer has used stick to hit his victim on the head.
Iringe-Koko said: “Police are investigating the incident. A masquerade was performer used stick to hit a young man’s head. The victim was immediately taken to a hospital where he was confirmed dead.
“The matter has been reported to the police and we are investigating it. The suspect has ran away but we are trailing him.
However, the Area Commander in-charge of Okrika LGA, Ogunjemisin Tayo, called on the two communities to exercise restraint following reports of the killing.
Tayo said the police would ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and brought to book.
He commended the Council Chairman for being proactive in ensuring that the matter did not go out of control and urged everyone to remain peaceful.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Okrika Local Government Area, Akuro Tobin, had earlier sued for peace following reports of the development.
He appealed on the elders and youths of Abam and George Communities to assist the police in ensuring that the perpetrators are arrested and made to face the law.
Tobin also urged the police to ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and justice served and lamented the untimely death of the young boy whose life has been caught short in his prime.
Speaking, the Chairman Community Development Committee of Abam, Sample Abam, condemned the action of youths in George Ama as unacceptable, urging the police to redouble efforts in ensuring the arrest of everyone involved in the evil act.
Also, the Secretary of Dokube Royal House, Otelima George, regretted the action of some miscreants which he insisted does not have the backing of the community.
He assured that the George community will do everything humanly possible to ensure the arrest of those involved in the act by assisting the police with useful information, even as he conveyed the community’s heartfelt sympathy to the Abam community.
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