Barely six days after Akwa Ibom governor directed secret cultists in the state to surrender arms to police and embrace peace, some unknown gunmen Monday morning killed two persons from Ikot Akpa Idem in Ukanafun local government area, Straightnews has gathered.
Governor Udom Emmanuel had, Wednesday last week at a peace/security meeting for Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas held at Utu Etim Ekpo, directed the cultists and criminals in the areas to surrender their arms to police within 21 days or face full weight of law.
Straightnews gathered that the suspected hoodlums went to the compounds of Samuel Ibekwe and Unyime Sunday Urom and slaughtered them for their inability to pay N1 million ransom each demanded by the hoodlums.
Our correspondent in the area was told that prior the fateful day, “the deceased were given seven days’ notice by the hoodlums to pay the said sum or be killed.
“The deceased being peasant farmers could not raise the huge sum to pay them. So, this morning the suspected criminals visited their compounds, shot them and left unmolested,” the source said.
The source lamented “Kidnapping is a common thing facing us in the village. The suspected criminals move from compound to compound pasting demand notices of sums of money people must pay or be killed at the expiration of the deadline,” pleading “we want security operatives and state government to come to our rescue.”
When Straightnews reporter called DSP Diko O. Macdon, Police Public Relations Officer, Akwa Ibom Police Command on telephone for confirmation, he said he was not aware of the incident but would get official report from the Divisional Police Officer in the area.
In another development, the 81-year-old Jack Udoh from Ikot Unah who was kidnapped one month ago has been released after his family had paid his abductors N800,000 ransom.
However, cloud of confusion is said to be surrounding the family of Essien Jackson Udoekpo from Idung Nneke and a staff of Ukanafun local government council said to be abducted by unknown persons one month ago.
Straightnews gathered that in the wake of spate of kidnappings in the area, Udoekpo had relocated his family to Abak where he had been going to work in Ukanafun.
A close source that did not want to mention his name narrated “On the fateful day, he left his house in Abak to Ikot Akpa Nkuk, Ukanafun local government headquarters but the hoodlums stopped him on his motor cycle in Ikot Ubo village, Oruk Anam local government area and whisked him away to their hide-out.
“In their den, he was said to have called his wife, Akamanem who is also the daughter to the late Ukanafun Paramount Ruler, Chief Udom Nneke by his telephone to bring at least N100,000 ransom to secure his release.”
“Though his wife raised N300,000 ransom and paid to suspected kidnappers, his whereabouts since then remains known, the source stated.
Straightnews gathered from another source that the suspected kidnappers might have been infuriated by the action of the victim’s wife who was said to have been escorted by a policeman to the location the ransom was dropped.
Meanwhile, two clergy men- Pastor Mfon Akpan Udo Nneke and Deacon Alexander Tom Umoh- from Ikot Akpa Idem abducted by unknown gunmen are yet to be released.
A family source said the abductors of Pastor Udo Nneke are demanding for payment of N10 million ransom, but the family raised and sent N200,000 to them which, according to report, they purportedly rejected for being paltry.
It is said that the family of Deacon Umoh who was also kidnapped same day with Pastor Udo Nneke is yet to send a ransom for his abductors due to their inability tor raise any amount.