The police yesterday confirmed the death of 10 persons, including three vigilante members during a clash between two rival cult groups in Ibaa community, Emohua local government area of Rivers State.
It would be recalled that the two cult groups, Icelanders and Greenlanders were involved in a violent clash around 4a.m on Sunday, over perceived protracted chieftaincy tussle.
No fewer than four persons were reported killed during the initial clash that morning, though the police clarified that three members of a vigilante group with three others were later found killed during the clash.
Police commissioner Dan Bature who confirmed the incident said the clash could have political undertones.
Bature who visited the area on Monday said the police command responded to a distress call, adding that the Ibaa Divisional Police Officer immediately mobilised policemen to the scene to restore order.
Bature explained that his visit to Ibaa was to enable him get first-hand information on the nature and causes of the clash so as to stop a recurrence.
He said: “On Sunday 15, 2014 at about 0400hrs between two rival cult groups; Icelanders and Greenlanders were involved in a clash.
“The cause of the mayhem bordered on a long standing chieftaincy tussle within the community and a complex web of other politically motivated issues. A total of about 10 deaths were recorded which included two vigilante members and the village town crier. Investigations have intensified with a total of five suspects arrested by the police.”
Describing the incident as sad, the commissioner commiserated with affected families and the people of Ibaa community, even as he warned all criminals within the state to turn a new leaf or face the wrath of the law.
“The hand of the law enforcement is never short. It will get to all those who will not embrace peace and order. My men are motivated and will work tirelessly to guarantee a crime-free society.”