No fewer than 10 persons were killed by gunmen yesterday and the home of the President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Legoborsi Pyagbara in Nyokuru in Khana Council of Rivers State, razed, The Guardian reports.
Eyewitnesses said Taabaa was invaded by an unspecified number of gunmen suspected to be cultists, stormed the community in the early hours of yesterday, killing five persons.
The gunmen, who shot sporadically for almost one hour, also attacked the residence of the Taabaa king and looted some valuable items before setting the property ablaze.
But fortunately for the king, he was absent when the bandits invaded his residence.
Thereafter, the gunmen proceeded to Nyokuru, Pyagbara’s hometown and burnt his family house.
Publicity Secretary of MOSOP, Sunny Zorvah, said Pyagbara travelled out of the state when the attack took place, adding details of the attack were still sketchy at press time yesterday.
MOSOP is pained over the attacks leading to the burning of Pyagbara’s house in Nyokuru Community.
“The movement also feels distressed over reports of the killing of about five persons and razing of the palace of Chief Nule (Jnr.) in Taabaa and yesterday‘s killings and attack on Chief Monday Abueh’s residence and others in Okwala Community by cult gangs.
“This ugly situation demands urgent and thorough action by security agencies and every necessary action required of the government.
“We urge the police and the special military joint task force to ensure the return of peace to the troubled communities, arrest perpetrators of the dastardly act and onslaught on the communities,” he stated.
When contacted, Chairman of Khana Local Government Area, Loolo Lahten, confirmed the attack on the communities, saying the killings were perpetrated by some youths who are seeking relevance and not cultists, as was being speculated.
He said security personnel have been deployed to the affected communities and peace has been restored, adding that security operatives have begun a manhunt for the perpetrators of the violence.
Meanwhile, MOSOP has accused the federal government of indifference to the spate of killings in Ogoniland, saying but for its apathy, the situation ought to have been reversed.
It also noted that oil production in a heavily contaminated environment and utter disregard for the people’s welfare was the height of the government’s insensitivity.
An official of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, said despite the killing of over 50 persons weekly, the government has done nothing to improve the healthcare delivery system.
“Killings have been reported in Bodo, K-Dere, B-Dere, Gbe, Bomu, and Kpor in Gokana Council where United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report recommended a health audit,” the statement added.