One person died and three injured when suspected militants, Monday, attacked Akwa Ibom Transport Transport Corporation (AKTC) passengers’ bus at Ikot Mkporikpo village along Abak-Iwukem Road in Etim Ekpo local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
This is the second bus belonging to AKTC attacked by the hoodlums as the first one was also attacked at Edem Akai in Etim Ekpo local government area earlier this year.
Charman Dore, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in-charge of Etim Ekpo, confirmed to our Straightnews correspondent that the “the militants shot sporadically at the bus when the driver refused to stop after being flagged down by the hoodlums”.
Dore explained that occupants of the bus said to belong to the Akwa Ibom Transport Company (AKTC), had to bleed heavily “because the driver refused to stop and drop the affected passengers at the nearby health centre for treatment.”
“One of the injured died on the way because the driver was afraid and refused to stop after the shooting incident. He insisted on reaching safety in Aba before discharging the injured for treatment, but along the road, one died before reaching the hospital in Aba,” he stated.
Similarly, the DPO said another bus ran into the scene in flight, veered off the road, crashed into a building and caught fire when the heavily frightened driver lost control.
He expressed worry over the activities of the hoodlums, wondering why the militants have refused to heed the olive branch extended to them by governor Udom Emmanuel, who appealed to them to lay down their arms for amnesty, rehabilitation and re-integration.
With the crises unabated even in the face of sustained interventions by security forces, Dore said religious organizations have been drafted in, with a view to tackling the matter spiritually.
“As I am talking to you now, we are praying right now at the Utu Etim Ekpo Local Government Secretariat,” he said.
DSP Odiko O. Macdon, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), also confirmed the incident, saying they were on the trail of the perpetrators with a view to bringing them to justice.
The governor Emmanuel had during his visit to the area penultimate week, donated several truck loads of relief materials to thousands of community dwellers in both Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas, dislocated by the prolonged security crises fueled by cultists.