Etim Ekpimah, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has released a list of 59 persons alleged to be the ring leaders and sponsors of terrorist acts in the Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo local government areas.
The release reportedly followed cases of abduction in the Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas in which four church leaders and one official of the Independent National Electoral Commission were kidnapped for ransom last week in Uruk Ata 2 community.
Southern City News learnt that the assailants were also said to have torched seven houses and killed eight people and abducted two female students of Obong University, Obong Ntak in Etim Ekpo.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, on Sunday confirmed the release of the kidnapped students of Obong University.
He said, “The listed suspects are still within the crisis areas. Difficult terrain and equipment have been hindering our operations.
“Even the Blue River at Azumini that they (the criminals) always use to migrate into Abia, Rivers and other neighbouring states after operations is even too shallow for navy boats.”
He explained that many of the trouble areas in the two affected LGAs had been secured, making it possible for displaced people to return.
Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, had on Saturday promised to deal with the sponsors of violence in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun councils.
Emmanuel stated that the government was aware of the criminal activities in the areas and was working towards lasting peace in the councils.
The governor said the sponsors of Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo violence had been identified and tracked, adding that the state would soon get them.
“What is happening in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo, we all know that those things are sponsored. We have identified and tracked them; we are on it. Well, whoever is sponsoring them, good luck to that person because one day we will get to the sponsors,” he added.
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