Vincent Ikuomola Abuja

The Oraifite Improvement Union, Anambra state has condemned the recent killings of two policemen in its community.

Consequently, it proscribed operations of all secret societies and masquerades in the community.

Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have been accused of carrying out the heinous crime.

The decision was announced in statement issued in Abuja and signed by the President-General of OIU, Sunny Igboanuzue; Secretary-General, Uche G. A. Offor and Isi Obi Oraifite, His Royal Highness, Igwe Daniel Udeoji.

The union stated that, “any such groups found to be so operating shall be treated as criminal gangs, with full amplitude of the legal consequences“.

The decision was taken by Oraifite Improvement Union, Isi Obi Oraifite, Obis and quarter Chairmen to stop “the brewing attempt to convert our town to a bastion of lawlessness”, help in the restoration of law and order and “properly prosecute all persons behind the ugly development.”

The affected secret societies were Otu-Eke, Otu-Afor, Otu-wo, Otu-Orie, Otu Out-Ube, Otu Ayaka “and all forms of night masquerades – whether practiced as part of the activities of rituals or any of the aforementioned group or independent of any of the group mentioned above.”

The statement reads, “In view of the criminal activities of certain nefarious groups in the town which acted as catalysts to the tragic events of December 2 2019, the secret societies, in all their variegated forms, manifestations and expressions in the town, are hereby proscribed and banished from operating in any manner of form whatsoever in Oraifite.

“To this end, any Otu-Ube, Ayaka or such other form of masquerade seen anywhere in Oraifite shall be treated as an act of cultism, with the full implications of that characterization at law. Furthermore, anybody found to indulge in any of the proscribed practices shall be immediately apprehended and handed over to law enforcement agencies for due prosecution as a criminal.

“On December 2 2019, our dear town Oraifite became the scene of very ugly and alien events, hitherto unknown to our peaceful way of life. The town was invaded by miscreants bent on lawlessness and destruction.

“By the end of the day, two members of the Nigerian Police Force drafted to restore peace and public Order lay dead and some others wounded. Properties were set ablaze and the town became a scene of utter carnage. Clearly, the leadership of the town cannot keep quit and allow criminal gangs, cultists and miscreants take over the town and tarnish the image of the good people of Oraifite.

“What happened on December 2 2019, leading to the killing of the some men of the Nigerian Police Force is uncharacteristic of Oraifite culture and tradition. The acts are condemned without equivocation in its totality. The good and peace-loving people of Oraifite totally dissociate themselves from the acts of the criminals responsible for the abomination.

“The OIU, Isi Obi of Oraifite, Obis of Oraifite, the Quarter Chairmen and the entire people will provide full, unrestrained and active support to the Nigerian Police Force and other law enforcement agencies towards a fulsome, fair and effective investigation of this dastardly act in order to bring all those directly, and indirectly responsible to book.

“The OIU, Isi Obi of Oraifite, Obis and the Quarter Chairmen and the entire people of Oraifite hereby express our sincere heartfelt condolences to the Nigerian Police Force and, in particular, the families of the gallant officers who lost their lives in the most unfortunate and ugly event.

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“We pray that the almighty God will help in fishing out all those responsible, grant the families and all loved ones of the deceased officers the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss and grant eternal rest to the deceased.”