Thursday, May 9, 2019 8:41 am
… Police in manhunt for cultists who burnt down former SSG’s house
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A cleric with Anglican Church, Pastor Rev. Okwu Azu, who was abducted on Monday May 6 by suspected cultists who raided Ndele Community and burnt down the house of the Chief Sampson Agbaru, former Secretary to the State Government and former President-General of Ogbako-Ikwerre, Socio-Cultural group, an umbrella body of Ikwerre ethnic nationality worldwide has regained his freedom.
Details surrounding the release of Rev. Okwu Azu and whether ransom was paid remained sketchy at the time of writing this report.
A dependable source close to Anglican Diocese where Rev. Okwu Azu serves told our correspondent in Port Harcourt that the Clergyman was released 48 hours later after kidnap unharmed.
The Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed that the hoodlums who are suspected cultist invaded the former SSG home and set it on fire.
The Rivers Police image maker had confirmed the abduction of the Anglican Vicar and his aide in the same community by the gunmen.
He said police have also launched an investigation to ascertain the level of damage to the building and also to get the two persons kidnapped released.
The attack on the elder statesman is regarded by the State Government as criminality gone too far.
However, facts have emerged on the possible reason behind the setting ablaze of Chief Agbaru’s house in Ndele, Emohua local Government area of Rivers state, Nigeria by suspected Cultists.
The suspected cultists invaded and burnt down Agbaru’s House, May 6, 2019 on allegations that he and some prominent Chiefs in the area who have insisted on zero tolerance for cultism and other social vices are working with security agencies to arrest their members.
It was gathered that the suspected cultists accused Chief Agbaru and some other Chiefs of being behind the raid on the community by men of the Inspector General of Police monitoring unit last week.
The raid followed the kidnapping of two oil company workers and killing of their security aides around Rumuji -Ndele axis of East West road.
Sources revealed that the security operatives who came for a rescue mission raided the houses of some of the cult kingpins; a development the cultists suspected got the backing of some prominent Chiefs in the community, including Chief Sampson Agbaru.
Meanwhile, as the state government continues to pile up heat against cult gangs and criminality to improve security across the state, Rivers State Government has said it will henceforth sanction any company that awards surveillance jobs to cultists.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike made this known during a Courtesy Visit by the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Mr Jerome Pasquier to his office on Wednesday.
Governor Wike said henceforth, before such surveillance jobs are awarded, the companies should inform the State Government for proper scrutiny of the beneficiaries.
“Companies encourage cultists by giving them surveillance jobs. We must know those doing these surveillance jobs.
“When you empower them, they have more money to acquire arms. Any company that gives surveillance jobs to cultists will be sanctioned”