Etim Ekpo attack: Residents flee as cultists loot communities
Residents of Udianga Enem and Abak-Obong communities in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have fled the communities following attacks which claimed over nine lives.
The village head of Udianga Enem, Chief Mendie Udoekoriko, said six persons were killed in the community by cult members, who besieged the community last week.
And in Abak-Obong, it was learnt that two persons including a traditional ruler, Chief Bassey Ikpaisong, were killed.
Udoekoriko said, “They burnt our Affiong Market and torched some houses including Idung Akpanowo, where they looted personal belongings including cash, motorbikes, palm oil and other farm produce.”
The monarch said that a pastor, who visited his aunty was shot dead in his compound and his motorbikes seized. He himself only managed to escape.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro from an undisclosed location, the monarch said that many of his subjects have fled the community.
He said, “Right now, some other miscreants are cashing in on the problems and total absence of security to break into people’s homes to steal their livestock, palm oil, foodstuff and other valuables.”
A resident and farmer, Mr. Anietie Edet, said although the LGA chairman, Mr. Udeme Eduo, who hails from the village, promised to work with the police and the Department of State Services with a view to restoring calm to the troubled areas, it was later learnt that the chairman had abandoned his parents and other family members for his own life.
“This action by our chairman has created fear in the minds of the remaining residents and has forced them to escape from the villages to places like Iwukem, Utu Etim Ekpo, Abak, Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, and other safer areas, where they have relations and friends.
“Since the incident took place, the police would only come and blew siren for some minutes during the day time and left, leaving old people and others with nowhere to go at the mercies of thieves and other hoodlums who have taken over the communities,” he added.
Our correspondent gathered that 18 traditional rulers in Obong clan, are working on a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kputum Idris, for security reinforcement in the affected communities.
“The need for the petition is to draw Federal Government attention to the endangered people of Udianga Enem and Abak-Obong communities because we can’t continue to lose lives and property to hoodlums,” he said.
He, however, links the escalating violence in the communities to the forthcoming local government elections in the 31 LGAs of the state on November 11.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Chukwu Ikechukwu, who confirmed the incident, blamed leaders of the affected communities for always failing to report such breach of peace to the police during the occurrence of the incident for quick intervention.
He said, “They don’t always report these cases to the police. We advise community dwellers with issues of security threats to always report same to law enforcement agencies for prompt action.”Punch