At least 21 people were reportedly killed in an attack on Omoku, a community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (ONELGA) local government area of Rivers state, on Monday.
There are reports that the assailants were working for a former militant leader.
Although Nnamdi Omoni, spokesman of the state police command, confirmed the attack, he could not give the exact number of those killed.
“It was unknown gunmen who attacked worshippers who were coming back from the church as well as other community members,” he told TheCable.
“We are still investigating. Our men went there this morning to evacuate the corpses. Some persons got gunshot wounds and they were taken to the hospital.
“By tomorrow morning we be able to report of the whole incident.”
But Dakuku Peterside, director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), who hails from the state, said supremacy battle among cult groups was responsible for the incident.
He said Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, lacked the capacity to tackle the killings in the state.
“My heart goes the people of ONELGA and the immediate families of the deceased. This is an act that must be condemned,” he said in a statement.
“The good people of Omoku have suffered enough and this has dealt a further blow on their sufferings. I have said it time and again that Governor Wike lacks the capacity and competence to guarantee the safety and security of Rivers people.
“It is unfortunate that over 1,000 persons have been killed in questionable circumstances in the last two years under his watch. He should stop playing politics with the lives of Rivers people and face governance.
“Since the governor is not rising to the occasion to show competence, we will henceforth partner with all relevant security agencies to bring peace, law, and order to ONELGA and other parts of Rivers State.
“This is indeed a sad day for the people of ONELGA and the only way we can assuage their feelings is to ensure that this does not happen again. Governor Wike can rise above his partisan politics and display the hallmark of a statesman by openly condemning this murderous act and stop at nothing to arrest the criminals.”
Two policemen were beheaded in Omoku during the December 2016 legislative rerun election.