In a bid to restore peace in the troubled Ikot Udobong community in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, one person has been reported killed as hoodlums clashed with the Police.
In the last couple of weeks, the Ikot Udobong community has been under siege by opposing cult groups, over the recent killing of the former youths’ leader of the area, one Hon. Sunday Jeremiah, on Friday last week.
In the reprisal attacks that followed, our correspondent gathered more killings were recorded on Monday, forcing the Police to move into the community and effected the arrest of one of the gang members, while others fled.
To rescue their men, members of the gang, according to sources, ambushed the Police van carrying the suspect at the Edem Akai portion of the Iwukem-Afahaobong high way, where they engaged the Police in a shootout.
One of the Police, according an eye witness in Edem Akai community, was shot in the hand, adding that “when the Police launched their shooting, one of the cultists was killed”.
It was gathered men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) comprising Mobile Policemen and soldiers who later joined in the operation, overpowered the gang and took the corpse in their van.
The Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Donald Awunah, said peace has returned to the area, but would not confirm the casualty figure.
The Chairman of the Local Government, Hon. Udeme Wilson Eduo, corroborated the CPs position, saying all security machinery has been put in place to return peace to the troubled community.
In the last couple of weeks, several cults-related killings have occurred in Ikot Udobong community and its environs, forcing local residents to live in perpetual fear.
“Right now, it is dangerous for one to stay still stay outside after 7:00pm, Enobong Essien, who fled the community to the neighboring Ikot Obioma village, lamented.