A masquerade and a boy were on Sunday killed during a communal clash between Akatta and Omuma communities in Imo State.
Spokesperson of the Imo State Police Command, Joy Elemoko, told PREMIUM TIMES that contrary to reports that over five people lost their lives in the clash, only a boy whose corpse has since been deposited at the morgue, and a masquerade, was killed.
“I have called the DPO at the station where this happened and he is yet to give me full details of everything but he said that only one boy and a masquerade were killed,” Ms Elemoko said.
Earlier reports had it that seven people were killed and several others injured in a clash between the two communities after Aja-ala, a masquerade from Akatta in Oru East Local Government Area, using a machete, killed an Omuma indigene. This led to a reprisal attack on the people of Akatta.
This is not the first time that the actions of a masquerade- who are revered as spirits according to Igbo tradition- have been blamed for clashes between communities in Imo State.
In January, 14 people were allegedly injured following a clash between Umuovom and Ndiama communities. Where some reports said the mayhem had emanated from a referee’s poor officiating of a football match, others blamed a masquerade from Ndiama Village.