By Bernard Tolani Dada, Uyo
The Police in Akwa Ibom State have vowed to round up the masterminds of recent cults’ attack in which a Policeman, a sister to Mr. Udo Ekpenyong, the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs and four others were gruesomely murdered in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
It was gathered yesterday that several arrests have been made by the special Police squad working along with the Joint Task Force (JTF), who had been relocated to the troubled area by the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Muazu Zubairu, to fish out the criminals.
Three persons including a Policeman were shot dead at a filling station in Ikot Akpankuk, headquarters of Ukanafun, while another three including the sister to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Udo Ekpenyong, were killed when the hoodlums shot sporadically into the Commissioner’s compound at Ikot Okusung village in a separate attack.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Elkana Bala, who confirmed the incident described the attacks as politically motivated and blamed local politicians, especially in Ukanafun and the neighbouring Etim Ekpo Councils, of arming the youths to create mayhem in the forthcoming Local Governments’ elections billed for December 2.
The PPRO, who promised the culprits would be apprehended, however expressed fears that unrestrained killings would continue “even if the entire Police in the State were to be drafted to the area because of the people’s attitude of not wanting to divulge information to the Police”.
“The Problem is lack of information because the people of those communities are afraid of giving out information. These people (the criminals) live with them in those communities and they know them. That is why it is difficult for the Police to effectively curb crimes in those communities”.
Most of the killings, according to Bala, were being perpetrated by armed hoodlums on motorcycles; a situation he said necessitated the outright ban on motorcycles operations between the hours of 6:00pm and 7:000am in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo.