BARELY two days after two police men were reported missing after security men allegedly clashed with people suspected to be members of Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPoB) in Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area on Monday, the community yesterday, outlawed masquerade processions, IPoB activities and cult groups.
A statement issued by the town union condemned the lawlessness and violence that erupted, describing the proscribed groups as agents of the tragic event.
Speaking in the release, President-General of Oraifite Improvement Union (OIU), Sunny Igboanuzue, Secretary-General, Offor Uche and the monarch of the town, Igwe Daniel Udeoji stated that the groups were banned from Oraifite to rid it of tension.
“Otu-Eke, Otu-Afor, Otu-Nkwor, Otu-Orie, Otu Otu-Ube, Otu Ayaka and all forms of night masquerades have been banned. To this end, any Otu-Ube, Ayaka or such other form of masquerade seen anywhere in Oraifite shall be treated as an act of cultism, with the full implications of that characterisation at law. Furthermore, anybody found to indulge in any of the proscribed practices shall be immediately apprehended and handed over to law enforcement for due prosecution as a criminal,” the union said.
Condemning recent events in Oraifite unequivocally while dissociating the people of the town from the criminality, the union said it would take urgent and decisive actions to nip in the bud the brewing attempt to convert the town to a bastion of lawlessness.
According to OIU, the town known for peaceful coexistence was invaded by miscreants causing mayhem and at the end of the day leading to the killing of the two policemen drafted to restore peace and public order.
“The OIU, the Isi Obi of Oraifite, the Obis and the Quarter Chairmen and the entire people of Oraifite hereby express our sincere heartfelt condolences to the Nigerian Police Force.” We also express our condolences to the families of the gallant officers who lost their lives in the most unfortunate and ugly event. We pray that the almighty God will grant the families and all loved ones of the deceased officers the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss and grant eternal rest to the deceased,” the statement reads further.
Meanwhile, Anambra Police Command is intensifying its manhunt for one Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who is wanted in connection with his alleged involvement in Oraifite violence.
Urging members of the public with any information of his whereabouts to avail police or any other security agencies of such information, Police Public Relations Officer, Haruna Mohammed, stated that police will not relent until Ejiofor, as a member of IPoB, is brought to justice on allegation of conspiracy, treasonable felony, arson, armed robbery and murder of Oraifite Area commander, ACP Oliver Abbey and ASP Joseph Akubo.
“And I will seek the cooperation of law abiding Nigerians from North, South, East and West, wherever they find this individual, they should report to the nearest police station or any other security agency for possible arrest and prosecution,” Haruna said.
But President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has condemned the recent Police action on Ejiofor’s residence.