Cult-related form of criminalities has in recent times been recorded in Akwa Ibom state. UKO ETIM reports that accusing fingers are pointed at some unnamed public officials.
Reasons are currently being unearthed as efforts channeled by Akwa Ibom state government to eliminate cultism in the state seems to be somersaulting. This is even as activities of the criminal gangs are overwhelmingly increasing on daily basis.
Recently, the media space was flooded with reports of cults clashes/war which led to the killing of several persons and destruction of property in Eket, Ikot Ekpene, Ibesikpo Asutan and Uyo, respectively.
Apart from killings, properties such as cars, houses, business premises, and other valuables were also destroyed in the course of these violent activities.
According to reports, two students of the University of Uyo were allegedly killed in a recent clash between two fraternities in the institution even though the university is yet to confirm the incident.
However, the same recently happened in a village known as Ikot Ambon in Ibesikpo Asutan local government area, where an unidentified young man in his late 30s was killed and hanged inside a kiosk located beside St Lawrence Primary School, Ikot Ambon.
Also, in Uyo local government area, while trying to absorb the shock caused by ‘underage’ students of Uyo High School which led to the school being shut down for days, some communities including Ewet Offot, Eniong Offot, Anua, Nsukara, and other adjoining communities were turned to a war zone following the criminal activities of the hoodlums who are unceasingly terrorizing the entire communities.
Eye witness account
Information indicates that aside from killing and destroying properties, the criminal gangs numbering about 100 move in different squads with series of weapons to harass and rob business owners.
According to sources, “People are living in fear. This is a very bad experience and can’t bring development to our community. Any compound that uses generator, when it’s exactly 7pm, they will off it and begin to observe and monitor what would happen. Nobody sleeps at night because they usually begin their operation between the hours of 8pm till day break.”
The sources during respective interactions with Blueprint accused the people highly connected to the government in power for equally backing the activities of hoodlums.
“For them to pay deaf ears to the activities of the criminal elements which is going on means they’re indirectly promoting cultism.
“It is very wrong. How can all these be happening in the state and nothing to rescue the situation? The governor openly declared that he is against cultism, but when those boys are arrested, some people would call for their unconditional released. What is their interest? Why do they allowed those criminals to be walking freely on the streets?”
From a reliable source
When contacted, an elder statesman and serving Honorary special adviser to Governor Udom Emmanuel on grassroot mobilisation, Otuekong Elder Enefiok Ekefre frowned over the level of insecurity in the affected communities and therefore called on security operatives to kindly intervene to rescue the pathetic situation.
“My name is Otuekong Enefiok Ekefre. I am the adviser to Governor Udom Emmanuel on grassroot mobilisation.
“I have observed this nonsense for sometimes now regarding criminalities and some kind of useless things going on within Uyo capital city which is very wrong.
“Sometimes ago, there was a breakdown of law and order during the burial of a member of a certain cult group along Nwaniba that led to open confrontation between them and security operatives. The youth leader of Eniong Offot then was the leader of that group. He was arrested and was likely charged to court and later released. I don’t know the true position of that case now, but he is no more serving as the youth leader in Eniong Offot.
“Now, other groups are coming up again. This time the current member representing Uyo local government in the State Exco of PDP is allegedly involved.
Accuses some persons in ruling party
“PDP is my party. I was the founding chairman of the party. When we started PDP, cultism wasn’t part of our agenda. It is not in our party’s manifestos. I don’t know why the government or the party would appoint people into positions without conducting diligent checks on them?
“The guy – Uduak Edim, who is representing my local government in the party at the state level happens to come from my village. I challenge him through this medium to ask the police and other security operatives to conduct a diligence background checks on him in the past 20yrs. He has been involved in series of armed robbery activities around here.
“There was a time he was chased out of this place wnd ran away to Igbo land for some years because his mother is from there. After a while, he came back and when he bounced back, he became a party officer presiding over decent people in the party that has government in power.
“That same man attempted to install a village head in my community. The people resisted and because of that, he began to instigate a lot of crisis in this community.
“Not quite long at the palace and in the presence of the paramount ruler of Uyo and the DPO of Ewet Housing Police Division, he threatened that there would be a mayhem if he is not allowed to install his choice as the village head.
“Again, in the presence of the paramount ruler of Uyo and the DPO, he promised that he would make that place ungovernable and that there would be bloodshed. That was a serious threat. The bloodshed has come, why is he not arrested? He is trying to make this place ungovernable as he promised.
“Uyo is a multi-facet kind of a city, people are coming in to live here on daily basis and some built houses here, so they need peace.
“I’m appealing to the government through this medium to please arrest him or call him to order. I challenge the government to conduct a background checks on that guy’s life and see if he had not involved in series of criminalities.
“I’m conversant with the law of libel; if he has integrity he should go to court or cause me to be arrested, then let’s tell the world who exactly that guy is because he feels that he is untouchable and that he’s close to power that be in the state; that nobody could arrest him. He also feels that as a former chairman of Ward Chairmen in Akwa Ibom, he’s untouchable and has access to power. He kept saying that he has access to commissioners and the police, which is not true.
“It is alleged that he was honoured with the chieftaincy title of ‘Enin’ by the traditional institution of Uyo. I’m appealing to the traditional institution to withdraw the title from him until he proves himself otherwise.”
“I am a criminologist by training, I understand that he is using that to divert the attention of the people to commit more crimes.
“The mistakes made is that we recruits all sort of characters into positions of authority in this country.
“I’m a member of Uyo Traditional Rulers’ Council. In politics, I’m there. In this government, I work with the governor. So, I would be the last person to allow some useless group of people to destabilise the government of this state through the back door. The governor cannot incite people to cause problem in his own state; it’s the people around him that are doing this.
“I want to equally use this opportunity to appeal to the IGP’s team led by Abba Kari to come over to this place. we would point out some of these people to them because they must go for decent people to live in peace.
The governor is talking about industrialisation and all that, but it cannot thrive where there is violence. No sane person invest money at where he or she is not sure of tomorrow.