No fewer than four persons were feared dead yesterday in Owerri, Imo State and Abonema in Rivers State, is separate bloody attacks, as several others sustained bullet wounds.
Two of the deceased were killed at Ama Hausa, Owerri, Imo State capital, following a misunderstanding between a Hausa trader and an indigene of Owerri municipality, while the other two lost their lives in what community sources described as a battle for supremacy by rival cult groups in Abonnema, headquarters of Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
In Owerri, business activities were hurriedly shut in parts of the capital city, especially along the ever busy Douglas Road, and the adjoining streets, as news of the face-off spread like wild fire.
The timely arrival of a detachment of armed soldiers and policemen saved what would have snowballed into real inter-tribal conflict in the city.
Although there were several accounts to the incident, one of the stories that made the rounds revealed that the alleged Owerri indigene and his team were in the area to collect the usual daily toll from the Hausa traders, before the misunderstanding reared its ugly head.
A man from the North, who claimed to have witnessed the inicident, said the Hausa trader, who got unduly incensed by what he called “incessant harassment” by the toll collectors, took his knife and unleashed an attack on the indigene.
The man said the victim quickly grabbed one of the knives on the Hausa man’s table and struck his attacker.