Following the loss of lives of two residents of the Local Government Area (LGA) over cult clashes, the Chairman of Afikpo North LGA, Barrister Obiageri Oko-Enyim, has appealed to residents of the LGA to avoid large gathering at the moment, in order to help security agents in combatting security challenges in the LGA.
Speaking Wednesday at the Council headquarters during a meeting of stakeholders, that had in attendance security agencies, traditional rulers, political appointees, among others, Oko-Enyim said that more lives and property would have been lost to cult clashes if not for her timely intervention in addressing affected parties.
She said: “Security of Afikpo North has been my major concern since assumption of office last year. Though it has not been easy for me, I want to thank God for His grace, especially because of those we have been working together with in tackling issues affecting Afikpo North.
“However, last week was not funny for all residents of Afikpo North as two lives were lost at Nkpoghoro and Amaobolobo as a result of cult clashes. If not for my timely intervention and visit to the affected communities with personnel of the Ebubeagu security network and some officials, it would have been worse as aggrieved youths were protesting and demolishing properties belonging to the suspected killers. In fact, the suspects are still on the run as we speak.
“However, we will make sure that there is no reoccurrence as security agents have been working round the clock to combat insecurity in Afikpo North. I also want to appeal to our mothers to caution their children against cultism. The perpetrators are presently regretting their actions.
“Nevertheless, I want to plead with our people to avoid any gathering of any kind for now. You don’t know what will happen during such gatherings. I repeat, if not for my timely intervention, the situation at Nkpoghoro and Amaobolobo would have escalated and houses burnt down, which would eventually have led to Afikpo North being labelled as barbaric town.
“So, I plead with everyone, there should be no gathering of any kind for now, even till the end of month; in order for the situation to calm down. We need to make sure that there is peace in Afikpo North, but we need to work together to achieve this noble objective.”
Also speaking, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Chief Oluchukwu Ukie Ezeali (Chief P Noble), said that the sensitisation against cultism should be taken up by the Afikpo North LGA Chairman and other residents, especially on social media, in order for the menace to be tackled headlong.
“I feel sad whenever I hear about the issue of cultism in Afikpo North. It gives me sleepiness nights and I weep over what our town is becoming. Whenever I get the opportunity, I advise young people to change for the better and shun cultism. I am not a cultist and will never be, let alone identifying with cultists.
“So, I want the council Chairman to organise sensitisation workshop to curb the menace, especially on social media. Also, social media users from Afikpo North should take up the challenge of writing on the negative effects of cultism. Instead of channelling the energy on criticising the state government, let us look inwards and see how we can be advising our brothers against cultism for a better Afikpo North.”