Tension gripped Okeagbe community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State as reports surfaced of a cleric allegedly killing a sacred boa. The cleric, a member of God’s Grace Ministry headquartered in Warri, fled the community immediately after the incident, leaving behind a wave of confusion.

The motive behind the cleric’s action remains unclear, adding to the unrest among the community members. In response to the killing, indigenes of Okeagbe organized protests, expressing their outrage over what they perceived as sacrilege. Their demonstrations included chanting solidarity songs and marching throughout the community, culminating in visits to both the local police station and an army formation to lodge their grievances.

The anger of the protesters extended to the church associated with the cleric, resulting in the prevention of its usual Monday service. They demanded that both the church and the cleric perform rituals to cleanse the town and accord the snake the respect of a proper burial, akin to that of a human being.

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The cleric, originally from Orogun community in Ughelli North Local Government Area, managed to evade capture by scaling a fence and fleeing the scene before the protesters arrived. The tension in Okeagbe community stems from the deeply rooted cultural significance of the boa, regarded as a deity by the indigenous people. The snake is revered for its role in the community’s festivals and is believed to provide sustenance for the inhabitants, including domestic animals.