Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Nigerian Army yesterday explained that the operation of a combined team of military and security agencies in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was a simple clearance operation to flush out criminals in the area..
The operation took place at Ntak Ikot Akpan in Essien Udim, the local government council of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, last Tuesday.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, in a statement said: “The general security situation in Akwa Ibom State has been very peaceful until recently when the security situation around Essien Udim LGA became tensed occasioned by activities of some criminal elements.
“The miscreants exploited various avenues to acquire weapons to perpetrate their heinous crimes.
“In the past few weeks, the group has attacked various security agencies which resulted in the loss of lives as well as carting away of weapons,” he stated.
The military noted with concern that “the last incident led to the killing of some policemen, including a CSP.
“The hoodlums continued to terrorise law-abiding citizens through extortions and infringement on their rights.
“Consequently, a combined team of military and other security agencies in the state conducted a clearance operation at Ntak Ikot Akpan in order to flush out the miscreants.
“The operation was successfully executed and resulted in the dislodgment of the criminals while fleeing hoodlums were also neutralised by the air component.
“Normalcy has been restored in the area while the police personnel have since assumed full control, and are carrying out normal duties.
“Members of public are advised not to panic but to remain calm and continue to support the security agencies to further consolidate on the successes recorded so far.”