The Village Head of Ikot Edet community in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Mfon Udoessien has been abducted by unknown gunmen.
The gunmen, numbering about five, stormed the palace of the monarch at 2:00 AM yesterday, broke into his room and whisked Chief Udoessien away with little resistance.
A neighbor who pleaded anonymity said;
“It was too frightening to come out and mobilize the youths against the criminals in the late morning hours given the fact that they were fully armed with A-K 47 riffles.
“We woke up to see blaring torchlight everywhere with huge command for anyone to dare to come out. We had no option than to remain where we were till the vandalized the palace and seized the chief”.
In addition to the abduction of the monarch, some houses including that of Comrade Udeme Daniel, the Youths leader of the community was razed by the hoodlums, who also took a motorcycle belonging to one Ime Amos.
Investigations also revealed that the renewed militant attack in the community, which has claimed no fewer than four lives in the recent times, was provoked by the mob action against a suspected member of the Iceland cult group, who was recently burnt to death by community youths over alleged theft.
“A member of the Iceland cult group was caught stealing in the village and he was killed by the youths. After the incident, leaders of the group sent a letter to the Village Council, asking for N7million compensation, or be prepared for any eventuality, which I believe is what we are currently experiencing in the village”, a member of the community vigilante explained.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Odiko Macdon Ogbeche, confirmed the incident, saying “our men have been mobilized to ensure the rescue of the victim and a return of normalcy to the area”.
He lamented the non cooperation of the local residents with security agencies, noting that “they seem not be taking security matters seriously by working with security agencies and assisting them with timely information”.
The Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Samuel Ogunjemilusi, he stated, has stepped up security network in the troubled Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun Councils, adding that the modus operandi of security surveillance has been redefined to become more offensive to criminal elements in the affected areas.