Some unidentified gunmen have kidnapped one Otobong Sylvester Ukpong, an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), serving at the Akwa Ibom State area office in Ukanafun local government area. The victim hails from Iwukem village in Etim Ekpo local government area of the state. The incident, it was gathered, occurred near the Government Primary School, Oruk Ata 2, on the Ukanfun-Azumini expressway. According to the distraught brother of the victim, Mbetobong Sylvester Ukpong, “my brother was kidnapped at Uruk Ata 2, in the morning hours of Tuesday, June 5, 2018, on his way to work in his office at Ukanafun area office of INEC.”
He said the hoodlums blocked him at the volatile area of Uruk Ata 2, where militants have been laying siege, kidnapping four Church elders, burning houses and killing four others recently.
Mbetobong explained that his brother, whom he explained, “is the last of the family”, was on official duty to the office, despite crisis of insecurity in the area, to distribute Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to the electorates in line with the directive of the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Mike Igini.
He said the militants have opened contact with the family, demanding N10 million, even as the family leaders lamented that the excruciating economic situation has made such demand less realistic.
“They used my brother’s phone number to call the family to disclose their ransom before they release him, but the elders of the family have told them such demand is outrageous for a largely peasant family to pay”, he said.
When contacted, he commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Samuel Ogunjemilusi said he was in a meeting.
The police public relations officer (PPRO), DSP Odiko Macdon Ogbeche, said he was yet to be briefed by the Etim Ekpo Area command, adding that the CP had visited the area following series of killings and abduction of two female students of Obong University, a private varsity in the area.