The Rivers State Police Command said it was unaware of any levy imposed on any community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of the state by suspected cultists.
Spokesperson for the state Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said this after a stakeholder in Ahoada West raised the alarm that suspected cultists were demanding N10m security levy in some communities in the area.
Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, however called on stakeholders in the affected communities to make a formal complaint to the police about the incident.
She stated, “For now, the Command is not aware of any levy imposed on any community in Ahoada or any other community in Rivers State.
“If there is such situation, we expect the people or stakeholders in the area to make an official report in the Ahoada Division.
“They can even come to the command headquarters and report the situation because if they don’t report, how will the police know what they claim is happening?”
She said the police were working round the clock to rid communities in the state of criminal elements and ensure that suspected criminal were apprehended.
A stakeholder, while speaking anonymously on Nigeria Info, a Port Harcourt-based radio station monitored by our correspondent, alleged that some communities in the local government area were already contributing N100,000 per household to make up the N10m levy which they termed “survival money”.
The stakeholder said on Friday that the very day the Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada, Bako Angbashim, was killed, cult gangs in Ahoada West LGA sent messages to various communities to pay the said sum or be ready for their actions.
“The very day that they killed the DPO, the gang (of cultists) in Ahoada West started sending messages across to various communities to pay N10m before the end of the month, else they would come and set the entire community ablaze.
“They (communities) are now paying N100,000 for survival, and it is not good. There is even a report that Gift David they are chasing has left Ahoada East and is now in Ahoada West.
“Palliatives that were brought to us were moved and sent to these boys in their various hideouts. When we say we want to fight insecurity the government should be sincere about it.”
He also called on the state government and security agencies to take the fight against insecurity to Ahoada West, where he said the prime suspect may be hiding.
The stakeholder said, “The State Government, Nigeria Police and other relevant security agencies should come to Ahoada West and comb the area. Gift Okpara is in Ahoada West. So, they should stop looking afar, when the man is close.
“He (Gift Okpara) is in Ahoada West; he is no longer in Ahoada East. They should focus their searchlight on Ahoada West and help us. There was a time the late Bako Angbashim came to Ahoada West and raided some communities.”
When contacted, the Supervisor for Information, Media, and Communication, Ahoada West LGA, Madu Madueke, said the allegation that cultists imposed N10m on some community in Ahoada West was false.
He stated, “The local government is not a ward or village where you will say the whole communities in Ahoada West are contributing money to a group of people. The story is not correct.”
However, efforts to reach, Mr Boniface Onyedi, media aide to the State Governor, proved abortive as he did not answer several calls put across to him by our correspondent.
Onyedi also had yet to respond to text and WhatsApp messages sent to him as of the time of filing this report on Sunday evening.