Three persons were feared dead and five others sustained injuries on Monday night when two rival cult groups clashed in a renewed battle for supremacy at a local joint along Custom road in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
Daily Trust gathered from residents of the area that a 50- year-old landlord, Mr. Niceman Agonebi, popularly known as ‘Honorable’ and an In-law to the former Deputy Governor of the State, Peremobowei Ebibi, was among those killed during the clash.
A female restaurateur popularly called Madam Odey in the area, had her jaw torn apart by a stray bullet from the rampaging cultists while two others received fatal gunshot wounds.
Eye witnesses told journalists that the gunmen arrived at the custom road in a commercial tricycle popularly known as Keke NAPEP at about 8 pm and opened fire on their target who was in the midst of people at the local drinking spot.
The cultists, reportedly armed with assault rifles, shot sporadically at everyone on the street, a situation that stirred panic in the area.
Operatives of the State Police Command and some officials of the Bayelsa State Vigilante Service and State Volunteers who later arrived at the scene chased the gunmen but they escaped through the Edepie/Tombia areas of the state capital.
Commenting on the incident, Acting Chairman of the Bayelsa State Vigilante Service, Mr Doubiye Alagba, said that the state government had gathered useful information on the activities of the rival cult groups involved in the killings and will ensure they were brought to book.
Alagba, who confirmed the incident, said he had already visited the scene to condole with families of the victims and restated his call on the cultists in the state to desist from the dastardly act and embrace peace or face serious consequences.
It was gathered that the incident was not unconnected with the ongoing rivalry between some members of the Icelanders and the Bobos confraternity, also known as ‘De Bam’.
Police spokesman in the state, SP Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident, assuring that the culprits will soon be apprehended and brought to book.