By Ikeugonna Eleke
Armed men suspected to be members of a secret cult last Saturday invaded a burial ceremony in Ebenebe, Awka North Local Government Area, killing about 20 persons.
Fides gathered that it was the burial of a suspected leader of a cult named Ozo, and while the corpse of Ozo was lying in state in his compound, some suspected cultists arrived the scene and sacked mourners, shooting at mourners.
A source who disclosed this to FIDES said about 20 persons were killed. He said: “My sister was supposed to be at the burial. She and her friends had already prepared to leave Awka for Ebenebe, but the vehicle they booked to take them disappointed them.
“She and her friends were so unhappy, and they decided to go in search of another vehicle that can take them. It was in the course of going to the burial that they received a phone call that everybody at the burial had been dispersed by some gunmen.
“She also got a video from the scene, which showed several persons lying in the pool of their own blood dead, while the corpse of was desecrated, with its coffin lying far apart, while the corpse was sprawled on the ground.”
FIDES saw the video, with members of the community wailing, while corpses littered the compound.
Anambra State Police command has confirmed the incident, saying that it was a case of cult rivalry.
DSP Toochukwu Ikenga who spoke to FIDES said: “Yes, this morning (Saturday), there was an incident at Ebenebe. A burial was going on, when some people suspected to be cultists invaded the area and started shooting.
“I do not have details of casualties now, but I will keep you informed once the picture becomes clear.
“For now, the commissioner of police, CP Echeng Echeng has despatch tactical squads comprising of various units to the area to maintain calm,” he said.
Meanwhile, a social media user, Godwin Okpala who claims to hail from same community as Chukwuka said the notorious cultist was killed on 30th December 2021 at Amansea.
He said the rival cult which killed Ozor had warned his family members not to organize a befitting burial for him, as he was not worthy of it, instead he should be buried as a nobody.
The social media user also said that Chukwuka who is fondly called Ozor was a notorious cultist who has severally led attacks on the police and her facilities, just as he was highly dreaded during his lifetime.
The post by Okpala said: “This is the man, Ozor Chibuike Chukwuka, that brought about the killing of over 20 persons in his burial.
“He is from my town. He was a member of a strong cult, he was feared by all, and very dangerous. He was even among those that led gangs to kiII poIice, burn their stations and cart their guns away.
“Many of our people were hailing him, then later he died by the sword, he was shot dead in December, and his rival gangs warned that he should not be given a proper burial. They warned that if they do, many heads will fall, and it did fall.
“They (rival cult) carried out their threat. And now many innocent people that knew nothing were among the dead. My own cousin was among the dead. Very bad day in Ebenebe.”