By Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
There is tension in Ilile community in Ohaji-Egbema Local Government of Imo State following alleged threats by suspected cultists to attack them.
One of the groups said it would kill the community’s leaders and others, if they failed to secure the release of its two members in police net.
Another rival group is demanding payment from the community to sustain its members in the forest, else it would attack the community.
Cultists in August invaded the community and killed five persons, including a retired police officer and the town union’s last president-general Napoleon Amadi.
The police arrested three persons; the others fled.
Sources said the cultists resurfaced, with threats to kill the president-general Athanatius Nwagbara, and other leaders, who they accused of inviting the police.
The other group, The Nation learnt, was said to have demanded money to sustain them in the forest.
Sources said while the president-general and others fled their homes, others who have nowhere to run, are complying with the payments.
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It was gathered that N116, 000 was contributed by women and paid to the cultists.
Nwagbara, who confirmed the development, said he fled when it became clear his life was in danger.
He said: “One of them called me on phone and threatened that if I don’t get the police to release their members, they would come for me. I told them that I cannot do that and they said they would show me.”
He accused some community chiefs of being informants.
The president general said decisions taken by the chiefs on how to tackle the matter were usually leaked to the cultists.
Nwagbara said he reported the threats to the police and the army, but there was still no security presence.
Another resident said he and others fled for fear of attacks.
He said if security operatives did not intervene, the cultists might make good their threat.
The Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladodo and spokesman Orlando Ikeoku did not respond to messages sent to their phones.