At least two persons are unaccounted for following a clash between suspected Fulani herdsmen and community vigilance group members at Mbiabet Ikpe in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
It was gathered that herdsmen wielding weapons invaded the community farmlands with several cows, destroying plants worth millions of naira.
A youth leader in the community, Mr Enobong Essien, said the action of the herders roused anger among community youths, resulting in fierce confrontation with the herdsmen.
Corroborating him, Donald Monday, another community youth leader, lamented that “the young men disappeared after the fight, and up till now, the search for them has not yielded any positive outcome.”
“They (the herdsmen) always come without any notice, trample on our land with their cows and destroy our crops.
The youth leaders urged leaders of the zone, including the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio; the House of Representatives member, Honourable Iboro Ekanem, and the Speaker of the Akwa-Ibom House of Assembly, Honourable Onofiok Luke, to intervene.
However, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Don Awunah, has vowed to rid the state of criminal elements, while assuring that the protection of lives and property remained paramount in the agenda of the police.
The police boss enjoined the civil society to collaborate and volunteer information on threat to peace by hoodlums in their neighbourhoods, while stressing the need for civil and inter-agency partnership to curb crimes.
Awunah said the need to restore peace in the zone (Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District) ravaged by cultism, armed robbery and other forms of violent crimes necessitated the formation of what he called “Operation Impact.”