From Joe Effiong, Uyo
No fewer than nine communities in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have been deserted by locals who are now taking refuge in churches and community centre following a recent joint military operation in the area.
The operation, according to Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima, Director Army Public Relations,
was targeted at flushing out hoodlums and miscreants who had been terrorising the area with sophisticated weapons, attacking police formations and killing policemen.
Daily Sun learnt that while the operation by the military and other security establishments had been largely successful, it had however, come under criticism, as its planning and execution failed to make any form of provision for the accommodation and welfare of innocent residents, including women and children.
Chairman of Essien Udim LGA, Mr. Anthony Luke, in a statement, yesterday, said those displaced were taking shelter in make shift Internally Displaced Camps (IDPs) in two catholic churches and a civil centre in the state.
He commended the Catholic Bishop of Ikot Ekpene, Dr. Camillus Umoh, for being so magnanimous in sheltering the homeless persons..
“I have visited our displaced persons to encourage them, give them hope and assure them that they will be we catered for. The displaced persons are camped at St Ann Cathedral, Ikot Ekpene, Civic Centre, Ikot Okoro and St Brigid Parish, Urua Akpan.