The Oraifite community in Anambra has proscribed all forms of night masquerades and cult groups following a violence that erupted in the town on Dec. 2 leading to the killing of two policemen.
In a statement issued by the Oraifite Improvement Union (IDU), the community condemned the lawlessness contending that the proscribed groups in the town acted as catalysts to the tragic event.
The statement made available to newsmen in Abuja was signed by the President-General of the Union, Mr Sunny Igboanuzue, the Secretary-General, Mr Offor Uche and the Isi Obi of Oraifite, His Royal Highness Igwe Daniel Udeoji.
The proscribed groups banished from operating in the community, according to the union are, “Otu-Eke, Otu-Afor, Otu-wo, Otu-Orie, Otu Otu-Ube, Otu Ayaka and all forms of night masquerades”.
“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 characterisation at law.
“Furthermore, anybody found to indulge in any of the proscribed practices shall be immediately apprehended and handed over to law enforcement for due prosecution as a criminal,” the union said.
The union said the town known for peaceful coexistence, was invaded by miscreants causing mayhem and at the end of the day leading to the killing of the two policemen drafted to restore peace and public order.
The union condemned the act unequivocally and dissociated the people of the town from the criminality.
The union said it would take urgent and decisive actions to nip in the bud the brewing attempt to convert the town to a bastion of lawlessness.
It also resolved to provide the necessary support to law enforcement agencies to fish out and properly prosecute all persons behind the ugly development.
“The OIU, the Isi Obi of Oraifite, the Obis and the Quarter Chairmen and the entire people of Oraifite hereby express our sincere heartfelt condolences to the Nigerian Police Force.
”We also express our condolences to the families of the gallant officers who lost their lives in the most unfortunate and ugly event.
”We pray that the almighty God will 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,” the union said in the statement.