Dennis Udoma, Uyo
At least two persons were feared killed in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state following a resurgence of cults’ war in Udianga Enem community on Monday.
It was authoritatively confirmed that the Village head, Chief Mendie Josiah Udoekoriko, out of fear for his life has fled his palace and is seeking refuge in an undisclosed location.
It could be recalled that a Pastor was killed in his presence around his palace some years ago, when a similar war raged, forcing Governor Udom Emmanuel to offer amnesty. Several of the combatants then left the bush and laid down their arms.
The latest incident, it was gathered, occurred on Monday night, when the Ice Land cult confraternity from Obon Ebot village stormed the Udianga Enem community to retrieve some items, allegedly seized by the opposing Debam gang in the nearby community of Obong Ntak.
Efforts to speak with the Udianga Enem village youths’ President, Udeme John, was abortive as his line was switched off.
But a member of the Udianga Enem community youths association, who would not want his name mentioned, said the invaders led by the Iceland leader, “came for a truce with the other group, Debam, with a view to recovering those properties through negotiation.
“But unfortunately, a scuffle ensued, leading to the death of one person while others fled”, he said, adding that the resurgence of gun violence has forced people to abandoned their farms and flee.
He added that the leader of the Debam gang (name withheld) had allegedly earlier killed one person at Obong Ntak community after the looting there, stressing that it was when that individual was identified by the deceased as the person that led his gang to cart away people’s wares in their community that he deliberately shot and killed him.
He explained that “we could not report the matter to the Police at the Area Command because the Village Head who would have coordinated the process immediately fled his palace and abandoned his throne.”
However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Odiko Macdon, a Police Superintendent (SP) assured on Monday that “full scale investigation will begin as soon as the Etim Ekpo Area Command gives details”.
He, therefore, urged members of the civil society to be law abiding and report any act of crime in good time for the Police to nip such crisis in the bud.
Besides, he warned hoodlums in the habit of taking the laws into their hands to desist or be prepared to face the fire-power of Police operatives, saying “no one should cash in on the peaceful nature of the state to perpetrate evil.”