…Pandemonium in Rivers State capital
THERE was pandemonium in Rivers State, after cultists numbering over 50 invaded some streets in Port Harcourt, attacking, hacking down residents and robbing passers-by and shop owners, yesterday.
More than four persons were hacked to death while many shops were looted.
The areas attacked by the gang, who were armed with AK-47 assault rifles, matchetes and other dangerous weapons, include Eagle Island, Timber Street and Etche Road and Iloabuchi Street.
Residents were seen fleeing in different direction amid commotion and stampede as people scampered for safety.
An eyewitness, Peter Rowland, said even police men on duty in some of the streets ran for dear life amid sporadic gunshots by the cultists who kept shooting into air to herald their arrival at any of their targets.
According to the eyewitness, the hoodlums also chant war songs in solidarity with their members who were hacked to death by a faction of the group in Mile 2 axis of Diobu.
“I was on the road when I saw over 50 guys with machetes. “They used AK-47, cutlasses and other weapons shooting and cutting down people, collecting their belongings. I saw more than five dead bodies as I made my escape from the connected streets.
They entered many shops and carted goods and money. People ran in different directions with some vehicle owners coming out of their vehicles and running for cover.
Even traffic policemen at Illabuchi by Eagle Island Junction and members of the Diobu vigilance group in the area were running away. Later, I had to call the Rivers State Government Control Room to lodge a complaint,” Rowland said.
Spokesperson of Rivers State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident but denied that anybody was killed.
“We are aware of the disturbance; it may be a show of supremacy by cult groups. But we have commenced investigation to get to the root of the matter. But I can assure you that no life was lost during the melee,” she said.