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Police Officers, Residents Flee As Cultists Fight In Rivers

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In what is suspected to be a display of supremacy, rival cult groups reportedly clashed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Tuesday, causing residents to flee their abodes.

Reports reaching Naija News on Wednesday morning said the hoodlums invaded some streets in the area yesterday attacking residents and robbing shop owners and passersby of their belongings.

It was gathered that the hoodlums who were numbering about 50, ransacked Eagle Island, Timber Street and Echue stretch of Illabouchi wielding machetes at residents while officers of the Nigeria Police Force on the route also took refuge for a moment.

The assailants are suspected to be members of a cult group whose member was reportedly killed days ago by a faction of the group in the Mile 2 axis of Diobu.

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An eyewitness, Peter Rowland, who spoke with The PUNCH said the Tuesday incident which seems like a reprisal, sent residents away, many ran into their homes and remained indoors for hours as the cult members brandished machetes and other weapons while searching for their rivals.

Journalists who visited the area around 12:30 pm confirmed the sight of police officers in about five vans from various tactical units patrolling the vicinity.

“I was on the road when I saw over 50 guys with machetes.

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“They used the cutlasses on people, collecting their belongings; some vehicle owners came out of their vehicles and ran for cover.

“Some traffic policemen at Illabuchi by Eagle Island Junction and members of the Diobu vigilance group in the area all ran away.

“When I saw what was happening, I had to call the Rivers State Government control room to lodge a complaint. Later, I saw that calm had returned to the area,” Rowland said.

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Confirming the incident, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko said, “We are aware of the disturbance; it may be a show of supremacy by cult groups. But we have commenced an investigation to get to the root of the matter.”

Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, dismissed claims that a life was lost during the melee.

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