From Joe Effiong, Uyo
After observing a ceasefire only for two days, hoodlums have resumed their hostilities against the police, burning down police stations and killing police personnel in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.
The latest of such attacks occurred about 6:30 am Wednesday, when the bandits stormed the Police Area Division of Etim Ekpo in two vehicles and opened fire on the officers and men on site, killing one policeman.
A press release from the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, which was signed by the police public relations officer (PPRO), Odiko MacDon (SP), on the latest incent said the armed men arrived at the Area Command, which is also the Divisional Police Station for Etim Ekpo, about 6:30 am on Wednesday, armed with AK-47 rifles and other dangerous weapons, in two vehicles and attacked the rented building housing the Etim Ekpo Area Command and Division.
‘The undaunted and vigilant police officers on duty gallantly fought back, repelled them and averted the intended carnage,’ MacDon said, adding that ‘unfortunately, a dedicated officer, one PC Edogi Bassey, paid the supreme price while a small portion of the building was torched.
‘The gunmen, who proceeded to Ika Division to perpetrate their nefarious activities, were successfully repelled, leaving the station intact without loss of lives or arms.
‘This unacceptable worrisome trend is being addressed by the police hierarchy and requires the collation of all.
‘The Commissioner of Police, CP Amiengheme Andrew, who is going round formations and divisions to ensure alertness and safety of officers, men and the people, has called on law-abiding citizens to volunteer timely information that will enable the police tackle the present security challenges. This time shall pass,’ the police spokesman said.
Akwa Ibom Sate Police Command has lost not fewer than 15 officers and men, including a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), in the last two months when the hoodlums started their hostilities in Essien Udim LGA.
There appeared to have been a hiatus when the army moved in to counter the operations of the hoodlums alleged to be having some links with Igbo separatist group Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).
But in the past two weeks, the hoodlums have been moving from one local government area to another in Ikot Ekpene, killing policemen and women and setting police stations ablaze.
Akwa Ibom State Governor Mr Udom Emmanuel visited the State Police Headquarters, Uyo, to identify with the Command over the attacks on security formations in the state.
While condemning ‘the senseless attacks’ and expressing concerns over the lives of officers wasted, the governor urged the Command to rise to the occasion of containing the challenges, and made a donation of N60 million to families of the deceased officers.