National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has revealed that no fewer than 100,000 persons have been displaced in the oil producing communities of Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State as a result of incessant violent clashes by rival cult groups.
NEMA Coordinator of Owerri Operations Office, Mr. Evans Ugoh made the startling revelation yesterday during the Agency’s assessment visit to Umuobi and Obile autonomous communities of the state.
He called on the Imo State government to set up a Commission of Inquiry to probe the incessant killings in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of the state by the rival cult groups in the area.
According to him, “No fewer than eleven persons, including a husband and his pregnant wife were killed in Obile autonomous community alone last month by the bloodthirsty cultists.
“The situation calls for urgent emergency approach to end the crises. Imo State government should as a matter of urgency set up a Commission of Inquiry to unravel the real perpetrators and sponsors of the groups.”
He said that the state government must step into the matter to fish out the people behind the ugly incident in the area, as well as ensure that the perpetrators are made to face the full wrath of the law.
He listed the crisis-ridden communities to include: Ochia, Awara Assa, Umuobi and Obile, adding that if urgent steps were not taken to stop the groups from killing each other, it may affect the Federal Government proposed plans to set up a gas plant in the area.
According to him, “I call on Seplat Oil Company, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Agip and Waltersmith to make sure that they provide adequate security in their host communities to help avert escalation of the vices in the area”.
He however, promised that NEMA will collaborate with SEMA to make relief materials available for the displaced community members.
Speaking, the traditional ruler of Assa autonomous community, HRH Eze Emmanuel Asor said the affected communities have remained deserted since the crisis started.
“Our women who go to farm are often raped by the gangs who laid siege in the bush and our children are out of school due to the problem. We need government urgent intervention in the affected communities”, he said.

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