By Charles Nwoke, Uyo, Nigeria.
No fewer than two persons were reportedly slain as suspected secret cultist groups sacked Udianga Enem community in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.
According to reports, Chief Mendie Josiah Udoekoriko, the village chief, equally fled due to the renewed clash between Iceland and Debam cult groups.
The Nation newspaper had reported that suspected cultists killed a Pastor few years ago in the village, which prompted Governor Udom Emmanuel to offer amnesty to the criminals.
This recent occurrence took place on Monday night, when a rival cult group known as the Iceland, allegedly led by one Oto from Obon Ebot, swooped the Udianga Enem community to retrieve stolen items.
The said items were allegedly taken by the rival gang in the nearby community of Obong Ntak.
Efforts to speak with the Udianga Enem village youths’ President, Udeme John, proved abortive as his phone was not available.
A resident of Udianga Enem community, who pleaded anonymity, said the invaders led by the Iceland leader, “came for a truce with the other group, Debam, led by one Angel Boy with a view to recovering those properties through negotiation.
“But unfortunately, scuffles ensued, leading to the death of one person while others fled.”
According to him, the resurgence of gun battle has forced people to flee and abandon their farms.
Enem said, “We could not report the matter to the Police at the Area Command because the village head who would have coordinated the process immediately fled his throne.”
Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, a Police Superintendent (SP) assured residents of the area of “full scale investigation will begin as soon as the Etim Ekpo Area Command gives details”.
He pleaded members of the society to be law abiding and report any act of crime in quality time for the Police to put an end to such pogrom before it degenerates.
He therefore warned criminals in the habit of taking the laws into their hands to put a stop to such act or face the full wrath of the law, saying “no one should cash in on the peaceful nature of the state to perpetrate evils.”