Gunmen assassinate PDP chieftain in Akwa Ibom

A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party and former chairman of the party in OrukAnam local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Sylvester Ntefre, has been assassinated by unknown gunmen.

Ntefere was killed at his residence in Ekparakwa by his assailants who left behind a black toyota Jeep used for the operation after they were chased.

A community source told Blueprint in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital that the incident occurred on Sunday around 8am as they attempted to abduct the former party chieftain in his compound.

According to an eyewitness, Mrs Sarah Williamson, the gunmen arrived at the residence of the deceased in a black jeep, and dragged him outside while other members of the gang were shooting to scare neighbours.

She said the sporadic gunshots by the armed men attracted the attention of the youths who raised the alarm against the gunmen, forcing the whole community to chase them.

She added that when the youths started to chase them, the gunmen had already abducted and taken the victim to a nearby bush where he was shot while members of the gang who were waiting in a standby black jeep abandoned it, ran out of the car and escaped through the bush.

“The community people came out and rolled the jeep away from that place after the gunmen ran away leaving the car behind,” she said.

It was gathered that the youths quickly searched the bush and discovered the corpse of the party chieftain lying in the pool of his blood.

The incident happened barely three days after a popular Catholic priest, Alphonsus Uboh of St X parish, along Ekparakwa- Etinan road was abducted and released after spending four days in the kidnappers’ den.

The resident who pleaded anonymity said the killing of the party chieftain may not be unconnected with the forthcoming House of Assembly party primary election coming up within the week as the deceased party chieftain never supported the ambition of one of the contenders.

“This incident has some political contents. The deceased was known for being upright in his stand against some contenders in the House of Assembly race in the area.

“This one has surprised everybody. This one is politically motivated. Every person kidnapped in this community paid a ransom and regained freedom but this was an assassination,” the resident said.

However, when contacted, AKwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Mcdon, said he was yet to receive an official report on the incident but promised to react once the command is briefed.

“We have not received any information concerning that. However, I will react when the command receives such information.”