From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The people of Anaku community in Ayamelum local government area of Anambra State has denied killing of a 53 year old man, Tagbo Okoye for alleged sacrifice to Ekwensu deity.
Okoye who hails from Omor community was allegedly killed and buried in a shallow grave in his farm on January 10, where some parts of his body were cut-off.
But reacting to the allegation of killing of Okoye by suspected people of Anaku, the President of
Anaku community Mr. Paul Nwuba said that the community did not collaborate or sent anybody to kill anybody on her behalf, saying that those who committed the heinous crime were apprehended and handed over to the police for prosecution.
He said: “As a community, Anaku has always handled miscreants according to the stipulations of the law.
“Upon receiving the police invitation concerning the reported death of one Mr Tagbo Okoye and the allegation that an Anaku man is fingered, the community immediately mobilized her internal security forces to effect the arrest of such individual(s) and hand over to the police for interrogations. With the full support of the internal security forces, the police have been able to take on some individuals for questioning.
“Does it therefore not follow, and by mere profundity of reasoning, that a community who is mobilizing for the arrest and prosecution of alleged killers is ignorant of the actions taken by the miscreants and never sanctioned such a heinous and sacrilegious act? How could a community send a killer and make a U-turn to arrest the person?
“If the community sanctioned such actions, then the community has no business mobilizing and working with the police to arrest the suspect(s).
“It is rather mischievous for the Omor community to be sponsoring these articles targeted at denting the good image of Anaku community and paint her fetish, evil and wicked. The Omor people are frustrating the investigation of the alleged killing by their constant unwarranted comments and sponsored publications”.
On the Ekwensu deity and sacrifice, Nwuba said: “The Ekwensu deity is just another deity like many deities in Igboland and beyond. The law guarantees people’s freedom of religion. Although Anaku community has a substantial number of Reverend fathers and other clergies, few ones that choose to be pagans have the constitutional rights to do so freely.
“The deity does not demand human but animal sacrifices. Such barbaric practices of human sacrifice have not been recorded anywhere in Anaku.
“Again, the season of “Igo-Mmuo” or the celebration of the Ekwensu deity is not January and even at that, the deity accepts only animals for sacrifice.
“The people of Omor are well aware that the Ekwensu deity accepts only animal sacrifices just like other deities in Igboland including Ajana-Ukwu and Erenru deities in Omor” he stated.