Ihiala LGA is one of the most terrorised areas by gunmen and cultists in the state, especially between the last years of former Governor Willie Obiano’s administration and the first three months of the incumbent Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s government.
In a video posted by a Facebook user and seen by SaharaReporters, the traditionalists, men and women could be seen in different wear, red and white, dragging their charms of various types on the road while they made incantations.
The post attached to the video read, “All the traditionalists have come out to say that enough is enough for the kidnapping, stealing, killing, and all the cult activities in Okija today.”
One of the traditionalists in a white long gown with a metal gong popularly known as “ogene” in Igbo language said that all the traditionalists of the Okija land should come together to say “enough is enough for crimes and abominations in Okija.”
“What is happening in Okija is that all the traditionalists in Okija came together to say that everything called crime and abomination must stop in Okija,” the traditionalist who did not mention his name said.
The leader of the traditionalists in dreadlock and red attire, identified by the videographer as Agbalanze Nwanifurude, said, “We cannot be in our land and live in fear. We did not hurt anyone. Anyone who wants to flex muscles should go to another place and do that.
“But it is not for us to live in fear in our own land; for them to oppress us; that is why we decided to use what we have to protect ourselves because that is how it has always been. We are saving ourselves with what we have. Let whoever wants to come against us come and die on the way.”
Recall that Okija which is said to be the largest town in Ihiala LGA is the custodian of the dreaded Okija Shrine or Ogwuwu Akpu which trended in 2019 over the alleged killings and other horrible activities that were associated with the shrine.
Okija Shrine was famous as people from various parts of the Southeast land and other places came there to administer oaths on anyone suspected to have committed one offence or the other.
Where the shrine finds the accused person guilty, the person dies a mysterious death and his remains would not be buried until certain rituals were performed.
But beyond that, it was alleged that people involved in money rituals and other criminal killings were taking unsuspecting members of the general public for sacrifices, an accusation that leaders of the community denied.