Harvests of tragedy. Horrific scenes of mutilated, decomposing bodies on the roadside and in some compounds. Sad tales of kidnapping like in a movie television show characterise the once-peaceful area. Unstoppable wailings become daily bread of the victims. Lonely foot-tracks and deserted compounds are ambushed by tall grasses and stray animals. Shrieking sounds of insects and birds envelop the serene atmosphere. Fear of death continually grip few abandoned residents in the daytime and in the night.
These are the unending features and heart-breaking tragedies befalling the fear-stricken and famished residents of Ukanafun villages in Akwa Ibom State depopulated and hemmed in by the inglorious activities of suspected cultists turned militants as they daily launch deadly attacks and perpetrate havoc in their lives and psyche.
In the past one week, suspected hoodlums have killed four persons and abducted nine persons in Ukanafun communities.
The gunmen were said to have struck days before members of the ‘Operation Purge’ rescued 16 persons- one official of INEC, a nine-year-old, seven women from Ikot Inyang Abia, seven persons of Nkek and Ikot Essien all in Ukanafun on Thursday, August 16 and Sunday, August 19 respectively.
Recall that on Thursday, August 16, 2018, Adeyemi Ogunjemmilusi, Akwa Ibom Police Commissioner of Police, held a meeting with stakeholders from Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas to proffer solutions to end the protracted crisis in the two flashpoints.
A report quoted from Townhall Platform, an online forum run by Ukanafun indigene and an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Ufok Ibekwe indicated that four men and one girl were kidnapped in Nto Okon, while one boy who was attacked is lying critically ill in an undisclosed hospital.
It further reported that in Odoro Ikot Ward Two, two persons- Boniface Friday Udomanima and Itoro Mark Akpan were slaughtered. Three women- 87-year-old Mrs Martha Jumbo Umoh, 82-year-old Ima Amos, 13-year-old Loveday Etim Udousung and an unidentified girl who visited Qua Iboe Church minister.
‘’In Ikot Ibekwe, two persons- Israel Ukpe and his wife- were killed leaving five children,’’ the platform stated.
However, some young female abductees so far released are said to be traumatised as a result of ‘forced incarceration’ coupled with untoward treatment in the hands of the hoodlums.
Efforts by Straightnews to speak with DSP Odiko MacDon, Akwa Ibom Police Public Relations Officer, on the story proved unsuccessful as he responded “I am very busy.’’