In what appears to be a new year of tragedies, a local government councilor, boutique owner, a sales girl and a customer have been killed by gunmen in Sapele, Delta State. It was learnt that killings in cold blood have been on the increase in the town in the last two years with suspected cultists in rival clashes of supremacy.
The latest incident took place on Wednesday morning which saw the gruesome murder of the deputy leader of Warri North Local Government Area, Bigha Grikpa, and three other individuals.
The other victims were identified as Mathew Ekiopa, of a thriving boutique at Lexi Junction, and his sales girl, simply identified as Blessing. Reports said they were hit at point-blank range in the head and arm right in front of their boutique.
The fourth victim was a customer, simply identified as Alhaji Bello, a businessman, who was said to be making a purchase at the boutique when the gunmen struck. The development has created palpable tension across the length and breadth of the town.
Grikpa was reportedly shot dead by gunmen who stormed the popular Mission Road area of the town in the early hours of Wednesday. It was gathered that the killings came amid the recovery of the bloated remains of two young boys, who had been declared missing two days earlier.
Police Public Relations Officer, Edafe Bright (DSP), who had earlier said he was not aware of the incident as of Wednesday, later confirmed the killing to our correspondent. He however said that besides the Warri North councilor that was killed, only one other person, whose identity he didn’t disclosed, was also murdered.
The secretary to the Warri North Local Government Area and Sapele resident, Khalil Samuel, took to his Facebook page to lament the wanton killings in the town. According to him, “Four people were killed in Sapele this (Wednesday) morning. Sapele needs a serious intervention.”
Khalil, who is always upbeat in decrying the spate of cult-related killings in the town, urged the government to declare a curfew, describing the killings as “totally unacceptable.”
Also, a former member of the state House of Assembly, Assembly, Daniel Mayuku, also expressed shock at Grikpa’s death to journalists.
“I know this very calm and respectful councilor. What is his offence?” he lamented.
A blogger based in the town, Sapele Amebo, reported that the remains of the two youths, who were declared missing 48 hours earlier, were recovered from a sand beach in the town, with signs of lacerations on their throats.