Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
A violent clash between two rival cult groups in Akpoha community, Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has left two persons dead, one in a coma, and over 10 houses burnt.
While one of the victims identified as Ikpor, 18, was said to be lying in a coma in an undisclosed hospital, another victim named Ukpai, aged 27, was killed.
Also, the body of an unidentified victim was discovered by the villagers near a river in the community.
The incident, our correspondent gathered, happened last Sunday.
Confirming the development to newsmen in Abakaliki, the state capital, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Loveth Odah, said that the police have swung into action to fish out the perpetrators.
She said that angry villagers took the laws into their hands by setting the houses of the suspected cultists ablaze. She said that the state police had arrested five persons in connection with the incident.
Although the police spokesperson told our correspondent that only five houses were burnt by the villagers, sources in the area disclosed that more than 10 houses were razed.
Odah said: “On the 28 day of April, 2019, there was a cult related activity at Akpoha around 10pm. The cult clash claimed the life of Ukpai aged 27 years while Ikpor aged 18 years old was beaten to coma.
“The homes of all the cult boys in that village were set ablaze by the villagers. They took the laws into their hands and set houses ablaze.
“The acting area commander of Afikpo Area Command headquarters said he led a patrol team and SARS and moved into the village. Now, they were able to calm the situation and as I am talking to you, five persons have been arrested in connection to the incident,” she stated.
The police spokesperson lamented the widespread cult related activities in the state and appealed to relevant stakeholders to look into the matter with a view to proffering solution to the menace.
She said: “We have not just communal crises but also cult-related activities in Ebonyi State. Everywhere you go in the state you see everybody practising cultism. What is happening? What is the benefit to a person practising cultism?” she wondered.