As security forces move in to restore peace in the troubled Ikot Udobong community in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, one person has been reported killed as hoodlums clashed with the police.
In the last couple of weeks, the Ikot Udobong community had been under siege by opposing cult groups over the recent killing of a youth leader of the area, one Sunday Jeremiah, last Friday.
In reprisal attacks that followed, Metro learnt more killings were recorded on Monday, forcing the police to move into the community, with the arrest of one of the suspected gang members, while others fled.
To rescue their men, members of the gang, according to sources, ambushed the police van carrying the suspect at the Edem Akai portion of the Iwukem-Afahaobong high way, where they engaged them in a shootout.
One of the policemen, according an eyewitness in Edem Akai community, was shot in the hand. The source added “when the police responded, one of the cultists was killed”.
It was gathered men of the Joint Task Force (JTF), comprising mobile policemen and soldiers who later joined in the operation, overpowered the gang and took the corpse in their van.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Donald Awunah, said peace had returned to the area, but would not confirm the casualty figure.
The chairman of the local Government, Honourable Udeme Wilson Eduo, who spoke with Metro, corroborated the police commissioner’s position, saying all security machineries had been put in place to return peace to the troubled community.
In the last couple of weeks, several cult-related killings had occurred in Ikot Udobong community and its environs, forcing local residents to live in perpetual fear.
“Right now, it is dangerous for one to be outside after 7:00pm, Enobong Essien who fled the community to the neighbouring Ikot Obioma village told Metro.