Youths believed to be hoodlums have burnt several houses and shops at Nnung Oku Ekanem, at Awa community, the hometown of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel. The crisis, which started since Tuesday, has rendered several families homeless.
According to a report by Ofonime Honesty, on the fateful Tuesday morning, an indigene of Afaha Ubium community (name witheld) sauntered into neighbouring Nung Oku Ekanem alongside his wife to stealthily harvest cassava on a plot of land belonging to Mr. Evans Akpan Evans.
The suspects were caught in the act and handed over to police officers from the Onna Divisional Police Station, Abat, the headquarters of Onna Local Government Area.
Enroute the police station, armed youth from the suspects’ village, having barricaded the land border between Afaha Ubium and Nung Oku Ekanem, descended on the police officers, beating them to pulp. They equally manhandled the complainant, Mr. Evans Akpan.
The hoodlums succeeded in rescuing the suspects.
The police team later reinforced and stormed Afaha Ubium to rearrest the suspects. They however drove into an ambush of well armed hoodlums. In the ensuing fisticuff, a police officer (name withheld) was reportedly macheted thrice by one of the assailants.
Sources say attempts were made by the youth to snatch the policemen’s rifles.
The injured police officer, apparently reacting in self defence, shot dead one of the matchete wielding hoodlums.
The suspects were successfully rearrested by the police. By Tuesday evening, hoodlums believed to be mercenaries stormed Nnung Oku Ekanem with rifles and machetes. They proceeded to the palace of the village head, Eteidung Ntiense Nda, where they dumped the corpse of the slain member of their community.
They destroyed properties at the palace before shooting dead and carting away two pigs at the monarch’s piggery.
The hoodlums proceeded to destroy the Nung Oku Ekanem village council as well as loot and destroy over 65 houses in the community.
Residents of the community decried the slow response by the police to their distress call but lauded the “swift response” of the army.
The people also lamented the nonintervention of Governor Udom Emmanuel, who was said have had a meeting with the member representing Onna State Constituency, Hon. Nse Essien; Onna Council Chairman, Imo Atatt; paramount ruler, Edidem Raymond Inyang, and others at Abat, the Local Government headquarters when the attacked occurred on Tuesday.