Residents allege traffic police officers and vigilantes fled after suspected cultists invaded some communities in Rivers
Some residents alleged that traffic police officers and vigilantes who were at Eagle Island, Timber Street and the Echue stretch of Illabouchi, all densely populated areas of the Rivers State metropolis , fled when communities were overrun by thugs.
The suspected cultists are said to have invaded some streets in the area, attacked residents and robbed passers-by and shopkeepers on Tuesday, October 11.
Punch reported that the thugs were members of an alleged cult whose member was allegedly axed to death last weekend by a faction of the group in Diobu’s Mile 2 axis.
Although police in about five vans from various tactical units were seen patrolling the area when a news platform correspondent visited the area around 12:30 p.m., eyewitness Peter Rowland , claimed that some traffic police and vigilante members at the scene when cult members brandished machetes and other weapons as they searched for their rivals, fled the area.
Rowland told the publication;
“I was on the road when I saw over 50 guys with machetes.
“They used the cutlass on people, grabbing their stuff; some vehicle owners got out of their vehicles and ran for cover.
“Some traffic cops in Illabuchi near Eagle Island Junction and members of the Diobu Vigilance Group in the area all fled.
“When I saw what was happening, I had to call the Rivers State government control room to file a complaint. Later, I saw that calm had returned to the area.
State Police Command spokeswoman Grace Iringe-Koko, who confirmed the incident, said no lives were lost during the melee.
“We are aware of the inconvenience; it may be a display of supremacy by sectarian groups. But we have opened an investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.