A nine-year-old child and seven women in Ikot Inyang Abia, Ukanafun local government area of Akwa Ibom State were, weekend, abducted by unknown gunmen, Straighnews has gathered.
Among those abducted are a nine-year-old boy (names withheld), Mrs Bessie Jimmy Okpon Ibuot, Esther Jimmy Okpon Ibuot, Eno Itohowo Okon Ikpaisong and one Imabong.
A source in the village told Straightnews in the area that three of the women were kidnapped in the compound of the late Jimmy Okpon Ibuot, one was arrested at Christ Apostolic Church while the rest were picked in different locations in the village.
It is alleged that the abduction of the persons is seen as a reprisal attack by a gang led by one Englishman also known as Overcomer whose wife was arrested and detained by a detachment of soldiers in the area.
Trouble was said to have started when the soldiers acting on information arrested the said wife of Englishman said to have been declared wanted by Akwa Ibom Police Command in connection with some criminal activities.
A source in the village told Straightnews that the socalled Englishman an indigene of Ikpe Annang in Etim Ekpo local government area suspecting that the executive chairman of Ukanafun local government area might have been instrumental for the arrest and detention of his wife the council’s boss who hails from Ikot Inyang Abia gave him an ultimatum to release his wife or pay for it dearly.
The Englishman who threatened that failure by the Ukanafun helmsman to ask the soldiers to release his wife would compel him and his gang to abduct 25 women from his village to compensate for the detained wife, started to carry out his threats.
In an interview with Straightnews, Chief Sunday Jimmy Okpon Ibuot, the village head of Ikot Inyang Abia, confirmed that the abduction of the people mostly aged women has led to unrest and apprehension among the villagers, forcing many to desert the thickly populated village to safer neighbouring villages and towns.
The village head was visibly angry on what he called ‘non-chllant attitude’ of the state government in bringing the insurgency to an end, thus causing many mostly the less privileged and innocent persons to suffer untold hardships.
He lamented that some unknown hoodlums set ablaze his motor cycle and later demanded him to pay them N2 million, an action that compelled him and family to flee the troubled village for the past one week.
Noting that since the eight were abducted, their whereabouts have not been known and no ransom has been sought or collected, he, therefore, called on the Federal Government to rise to the occasion by proffering solution to the engulfing problem that has led to loss of many lives and destruction of properties worth millions of naira in Ukanafun.
Meanwhile, three girls abducted at New Full Gospel Church, Ikot Inyang Abia were rescued by a detachment of soldiers at the weekend.
In a telephone interview with Straightnews, DSP Odiko Macdon, the Police Public Relations Officer for Akwa Ibom Police Command said he was yet to authenticate the claim of the story.