Following series of breakthroughs recorded by the state government in partnership with the security operatives, relative calm has now returned to Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo, the two local government areas of Akwa Ibom that have been under siege by bandits and kidnappers in the last couple of years.
Accordingly, all nine abducted persons recently reported in the area have been rescued unhurt by the security forces and the cult and banditry syndicate ring smashed.
Governor Udom Emmanuel made this revelation, at the weekend during the monthly prayer meeting at the State Government House Chapel, in Uyo.
The governor said, “We made a remarkable breakthrough in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo, it’s been calm and we can now feel the peace across the entire state.”
Refusing to speak further on the fate of the alleged culprits, Governor Emmanuel said security strategies on how this was achieved were best not disclosed publicly.
The governor, however, said there has been a remarkable show of repentance by some young men who had been members of the gangs.
“A whole lot of them have repented; they have come out to say they are sorry. If God says we should forgive, I think we may find a way to forgive those who have come out to repent. They might be the best Evangelists.”
He said from his interaction with one of them, so many of them had not acquired formal education and were carrying out the heinous activities out of ignorance.
The governor charged the church and parents to do a lot more in moulding and shaping young people to grow up in the knowledge of sound moral principles.