A source from the community said that two factions exchanged gunfire in Ikata community for over 30 minutes which led to death of nine persons on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.
The source further stated that the incident caused panic in the community as residents scampered for safety and business owners hurriedly closed their stores to a avoid being caught by stray bullets.
Spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Wednesday February 15, said the Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Mr. Effiong Okon had deployed tactical units in Ikata, Upata community and its environs.
The PPRO disclosed that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ahoada Police Division and Joint Task Force visited the area for on the spot assessment of crime scene and the security personnel destroyed the camp of the cultists.
?Yes, I can confirm the incident. About nine people died. It was a rival cult clash on Valentine?s Day. An investigation is ongoing and the CP has deployed the tactical unit to the area,? she stated.
“For now, the Divisional Police Officer and the Joint Task Force have visited the area for an on-the-spot-assessment of the crime scene. Following the development by the CP, two persons have been arrested in connection with the killings and they have made statements that will assist us in our investigation.?
“As we speak, our men are still on the ground there and calm has returned to the community. We will ensure that the fleeing suspects are arrested and brought to book.? the PPRO added.
Meanwhile, one Ada Chime, who lost her brother, Sunny Brown, in the clash took to Facebook on Wednesday, to mourn him.
?Those that killed you will never go unpunished. Rest big brother till we meet again. I will miss you brother,? she wrote.