Suspected Cultists Set Police Station Ablaze in Akwa Ibom

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By Okon Bassey

Suspected cultists last Monday night burnt down a police post in Akwa Ibom State.

The police post situated at Inen Junction in Inen community of Oruk Anam Local Government Area was reportedly razed down at about 7p.m. last Monday.

THISDAY gathered that Dbam and Iceland confraternities are engaging each other in bloody clashes as well as terrorising the community.

Following sporadic gunshot that engulfed the village, the residents were said to have fled their home for fear of their lives.

It was gathered that policemen posted to the station known as ‘Inen Ekeffe police post’ absconded from their duty post in the wake of the cult related violence in the area.

Efforts by security operatives to contend the situation are not yielding any positive result as maiming of members of rival gang and innocent people in the community continues in the cult war.

An eyewitness, Mfonobong Okorie, said the cultists numbering over 30 on arrival in the community, barricaded the community road between Faith Tabernacle Church, Inen Ikot Etim, and the gate of Al Madal construction company.

In the process of arranging themselves before unleashing terror on the community, the hoodlums reportedly snatched two motorcycles belonging to one Udeme Atanong and Ndifreke otu respectively.

“Residents, who wanted to visit their houses to obtain food items and rush back to their camps in the neighbouring villages, were trapped in the bush while the hoodlums molested and maimed anyone passing on the road,” he stated.

Okorie said hours later, the cultists chanting war songs, regrouped and moved towards Inen Junction where they burnt down the police sub-station at about 7p.m. last Monday.

He recalled that the cultists went berserk when an elder was shot during vestry prayer in the church and a retired Police Inspector was maimed in the same community both of them now receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in the state.

Okorie explained that the burnt police post was the second within three days after a former councilor’s house was destroyed by the cultists.

“This police station was a rented property. It doesn’t belong to the government, but this night, the cultists invaded the building and set it ablaze,” he added.

Speaking with journalists, one of the community leaders, Mr. Anyanime Umoren, condemned the killings and wanton destruction of lives and property, saying such mayhem was unprecedented in the history of the community.

Umoren, a Public Relations Officer of Inen Stakeholders Forum, said the community leaders have written several letters to the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel, to act immediately to restore peace to the once quiet community but no response in any form from him.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, SP Odiko Mcdon, confirmed the incident, but argued that the building was a dilapidated structure rented as an out-station of Nigeria Police.