From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Barely a week after two police officers were gunned down in Ika Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, five policemen and a woman have been killed in Ini Local Government Area of the state.
The policemen and the woman, said to be a wife of one of the police officers, xwere allegedly gunned down by hoodlums suspected to be members of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) at the police divisional headquarters situated at Odoro Ikpe.
Sun News Online learned that apart from killing the officers, the hoodlums, who reportedly stormed the police station in two buses in the early hours of Saturday, also set some vehicles and the police station ablaze, injuring some other policemen who scampered for safety.
Confirming the incident on phone, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Odiko MacDon, who was at the scene for an on-the-spot assessment, said: ‘Yes, there was an attack at the Divisional Police headquarters, Odoro Ikpe, in Ini Local Government Area. Six persons, including five officers and a wife of an officer were killed. I am at the station as we speak.’
Recall that police stations and other security posts in Akwa Ibom State have in recent months experienced cases of early morning attack, leading to the death of officers and destruction of facilities, including utility vehicles and infrastructure.
An online statement said to have been released from the office of the Executive Chairman, Ini Local Government Area, Mr Isreal Idaisin, alleged that the invasion was from the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the armed security arm of IPOB.
‘The gunmen, who came in two buses and a Sienna car filled with armed men numbering more than 40, arrived Ini Local Government Area with sophisticated weapons and broke into the police facility at precisely 2:45 am, killing five policemen on duty, burning of vehicles while inflicting injuries on others.
‘Some police officers who attempted to repel the gunmen were overrun,’ the statement read.
The statement said the council boss commended the youths of the area for being proactive in raising an alarm which helped to reduce the number of casualties.
‘I urge the good people of Ini LGA to stay calm as we are working with relevant security agencies and the Government of Akwa Ibom State to ensure that the situation is contained and necessary modalities are being put in place to forestall a recurrence. There is no cause for fear as the culprits will be brought to book in no distant time,’ the statement read.
Sun News Online could not however confirm the authenticity of the statement as it was not signed neither by the chairman nor any of his media aides. The chairman did not pick his calls for comment.