Joe Effiong, Uyo
The hitherto peaceful protest by #EndSARS members has suddenly turned bloody following the gunning down of one of the protesters.
Ironically, the victim simply identified as David, and of Yoruba extraction, was killed any a prison warder.
Our correspondent learned that the prison pickup van was conveying prisoners from court back to prison and some of the protesters including the deceased gave the van a hot chase.
David was said to have jumped and hung on the van tail board and the armed prison instantly gunned him down at Ekpenyong Street by Barracks Road junction while the van sped away to the prison situated along Barracks Road.
The death suddenly changed the tenor of the protest as angry youth descended on public properties including Access Bank at Barracks Road by Udok Street which ATM plaza was destroyed.
The magnificent Anchor Insurance building along Barracks Road was not equally spared as the angry mob set it ablaze alongside vehicles parked on the premises.
The secretary to the state government (SSG), Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem had to rush down to address the protesters and mourners who stood by the corpse decorated with blood stained Nigerian national flag and placed in the middle of Barracks Road.
Ekuwem said Gov Udom Emmanuel was so saddened by the sudden turn of event and had sent him to talk to the youth.
” Let me emphasise that this guy was not killed by the police but by a prison warder. And he has been arrested.
“The governor wants full details about the guy that had been kill. Let know his family members as soon as possible,” Ekuwem said before supervising the evacuation of the corpse into one of the vehicles in his entourage.
Our correspondent learned that violence had equally erupted in other parts of Uyo.
Meanwhile the state governmenr has announced a curfew from 9pm of Thursday October 22 to noon of Friday October 22, 2020.
Astatement signed by the state commissioner for information and strategy, Mr Ini Ememobonf read thus:
“Due to the violent manifestations of some persons masquerading as #EndSARS protesters trying to create chaos this evening, in Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom state, HE the Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has declared a curfew effective 9pm today, Thursday, 22nd October,2020 till midday tomorrow, Friday, 23rd October, 2020.
“This action is taken to protect lives and property of citizens and the restoration of Law and Order in our state. Within the period of this curfew, there will be an absolute cessation of movement, except for essential service providers, who must show a valid means of identification.
“We urge all law abiding citizens to stay at home during the period of this curfew.”