Callers on a radio programme have in unison pointed accusing finger on secret cultism as the root of rising criminality rocking different communities in the Nigeria’s 21st Akwa Ibom State, calling on law enforcement agents to step up surveillance and patrol to stem the tide.
Speaking on Atlantic FM, Uyo under “Politics Matter” on Wednesday, July 10, the callers complained of the increasing insecurity to life and property in the villages caused by people they described as ‘secret cultists.’
Last year, Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel had on March 13, 2018 signed the proscription order in accordance with Section 70 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 38, Vol. 2 banning 32 secret cults in the state while the Governor has been describing the state as one of the safest states in the country for investments.
Perhaps, this might have prompted British Government in June to advise its citizens against traveling to 21 Nigerian states which, Akwa Ibom was among, due to the growing security concerns in the country as raised by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom, a scare which the state government promptly refuted that the security situation was not worrisome as painted by the government.
Even the Akwa Ibom Police/Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko MaCdon has been claiming that the police in the state have zero tolerance for crimes.
From Mkpat Enin, one Mercy from Ikot Akpaden expressed serious over the upsurge of crimes in different communities in the local government area.
She attributed the crimes to activities of secret cultists who, according to her, go about dispossessing telephone sets from unsuspecting members of the public, burgling homes and stores of people.
The caller lamented that even in the daytime the boys would gather and drink openly, yet law enforcement agents will turn blind eyes on the criminal suspects who go about stealing in the night with ease.
Another caller Oron reported of how some robbery suspects used a ladder, climbed into a well-fortified compound, collected keys of a jeep from the owner, parked in his household property into the car and sped off to unknown destination.
Up till no, according to one Bassey, policemen have neither arrested the robbery suspects nor recover the car for the owner, blaming some policemen for working in complicit with the supposed secret cultists who are the evil perpetrators.
He lamented that some policemen work in cahoot with the criminal elements in that some belong to secret cultism while some on hearing of arrest of the culprits will alert them to flee the area or will even report the informant to the suspected criminals.
One Isong from Ukanafun complained of increasing robbery activities in villages in the area, and called on the state police command to extend its patrol team to local communities in the area.
From Uruan came the report that some villages are bedeviled by wanton activities of unidentified criminals going about terrorizing and dispossessing money and telephone handsets from members of the public.
Apart from this, the caller reported that last week people suspected to be sea pirates visited the riverine areas, and collected outboard engines from their owners, calling on the police to step security in the waterways to checkmate the crime.
Another caller from Eastern Obolo reported that the sea pirates have been going to the fishing terminals to dispossess engine boats from their owners.
From Ibeno, the caller lambasted the police for mounting illegal road blocks while others go on tinted cars to extort money from innocent members of the public while the crinimals are on the prowl seizing property and engine boats from their owners.
From Abak, the caller blamed the local government chairman for contributing to the worrying security situation in the area.
According to him, he particularly bemoaned the inglorious activities of local government staffers who sell emblems to motor cyclists and motorists as they occasionally clash leading loss of life and property of people, calling on the council to ban the ‘boys.’’
Another caller from Uyo wanted the public to imbibe the state cherished value-system of contentment and Godliness devoid of covetousness, while another person called on the state government to provide more gainful employment opportunities to young school leavers to curb surging crimes.