Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State government has refuted the story making the rounds that several natives of the state have been killed by Camerounian gendarmes following alleged resumption of hostilities between Nigeria and Cameroun.
The deputy governor of the state, Mr Moses Ekpo, who reacted through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ekikere Umoh, said there “is hardly an iota of truth to the allegations that the killings and wanton acts of arson and destruction of property of Akwa Ibom indigenes living at the Shell Creek in Cameroun was carried out by Camerounian authorities.”
According to him, from discreet investigations which have been corroborated by affected returnees, the killings and burning of Akwa Ibom indigenes property at the Idiaabatu fishing settlement in Cameroun was the result of the heightening of a prolonged feud between two indigenous groups.
“The incident took place last weekend when majority of the residents had visited Akwa Ibom to attend a burial at Ikot Inyang Esuk in Uyo.
“We have been informed that the attack was masterminded and executed by a local militia operating in the Shell Creek area by the name Asanwana, and purportedly backed by a local chieftain.
“We also have it on good authority that following an official report, the Camerounian army at Abana had mobilised into the fishing community and arrested 15 suspects involved in the weekend carnage,” the deputy governor said.
He, however, requested the Chairman of Uyo and Uruan local government areas whose indigenes form the bulk of the victims to reach out to the affected indigenes and furnish his office with appropriate information on the matter.