Cult War: AKHA Wants Security Summit for Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun


Worried by the lingering cult and militant crisis in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas of the state, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has called for security summit of all stakeholders to finally proffer solutions to the crsis.

Some months ago, Akwa Ibom state government outlawed 33 cult groups in the state.

Last week, Akwa Ibom Police Command declared 59 persons from Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas wanted in connection with increased cult activities in the areas that have snowballed into killings, kidnapping, rape and arson for more than two years now.

Bogged by the development which appears to have defied antidotes, Gabriel Toby, a member representing Etim Ekpo/Ika in the state House of Assembly, decided to table the matter at the plenary of the assembly as matter of urgent public important.

“A lot of my people in Etim Ekpo have been displaced from their homes because of wanton killings, kidnappings, armed robbery and other violent crimes. Several of them are in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps while some fled to safer destinations,” he lamented.

According to him, the total collapse of security in his domain has given the criminals the free hand to overrun and loot the communities, stressing that the militants even burnt down a police van in a shoot-out.

At the sitting, members including Aniekan Uko-Ibesikpo/Asutan; Samuel Ufuo- Mbo; Otobong Jonathan- Ukanafun; Aniekan Bassey- Uruan; Nse Essien- Onna; Friday Iwok- Abak; Nse Ntuen- Essien Udim; Aniefiok Denis- Etinan and Effiong Bassey- Oron/Udung Uko were unanimous in condemning the crises.

The contributors urged security agencies to work towards confronting the malaise with renewed vigour, and the state government to should show more than a passing interest in the problem to safeguard lives and property of the people.

The members also called on the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to assist the Internally Displaced Persons and the needy with essential items to cushion their problems.

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Onofiok Luke, the House of Assembly Speaker, who presided over the session, said the primary duty of the government was to provide security for protection of lives and property of its citizens.

Luke urged the state government to be alive to its responsibilities and stop the carnage in Etim Ekpo and Ika.