By Emmanuel Ayungbe
UYO—THE Police in Akwa Ibom State have arrested 15 persons in connection with the series of killings and kidnappings in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo Local Government areas of the state.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said the Command’s community policing approach and the recently launched Operation Purge, by the Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, made it possible for the arrest of the 15 suspected members of a kidnap syndicate.
Elkana, who declined to disclose their names for security reasons, said the suspects are responsible for high profile killings and kidnappings in the two local government areas of the state.
Elkana, who was on a familiarisation visit to the correspondents’ chapel, weekend, said the activities of a cartel behind killings in the area had created so much fear in the people.
He said to erase such fears, the Command launched “a well-coordinated undercover operation which resulted in the arrest of the 15 suspects.
Vanguard gathered that over 20 people, including high profile persons, have been killed in the area in the past one year, which the Command’s spokesman described as politically motivated.
Residents in most communities affected in Ukanafun and neighbouring Etim Ekpo Local Government areas now take refuge in Uyo, the state capital, Ikot Ekpene and some Annang-speaking communities for months now, as a result of killings and kidnappings.