For umpteenth time, gunmen suspected to be the Eastern Security Network (ESN) run by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) stormed Ikono Police Station in Akwa Ibom State and killed two policemen on duty.
Recall that on Tuesday, April 27, gunmen using motorcycles attacked a Police check point at Ika Divisional Headquarters and shot dead two police officers: a woman Police Corporal identified as Esther Akpan and a Police Constabulary known as Isonguyo Effiong Paul at about 7 p.m.
Sources from Ikono Local Government Area said the hoodlums invaded the Police Station at Ibiaku Ntok Okpo about 3 a.m. on Saturday and also set ablaze five police vehicles while a policewoman on night duty was badly injured.
Reacting, SP Odiko Macdon, Akwa Ibom Police Public Relations Officer, who confirmed the incident to newsmen on Saturday noted that the police personnel mobilised to the scene are assessing the situation.
”There was an attack on our Ikono Police base today. It wasn’t razed down. As we speak police officers drafted to the scene are assessing the situation already,” he remarked.
The Ikono Local Government Chairman, Nyakno Okoibu in a press release to journalists in Uyo urged the residents to stay calm, as he was working with relevant security agencies to ensure necessary measures were put in place to forestall a reoccurrence in the area.
Okoibu, however, appealed to the indigenes of the area to report any suspicious activity or movements to the relevant security agencies.
The release signed by his press Secretary, Nsisong Ntuk, read, “Today, Saturday 1st May 2021, the Executive Chairman of Ikono Local Government Area received a distress call about the invasion of the Police Station at Ibiaku Ntok Okpo by criminals alleged to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) by 3 a.m.
”In the ensuing melee two police officers were killed, five vehicles burnt, and a police woman on night duty was critically injured, the flag hoisted at the police station stolen and destructive acts carried out by the invaders.
“I want to inform the people of Ikono Local Government Area and the S#state at large to stay calm as he is assiduously working with relevant security agencies to ensure that the situation is contained and that necessary measures are being put in place to forestall a re-occurrence.
“Akwa Ibom State has over the years been known as a peaceful state where lives and properties of those domiciled within it are safe and secured. The narrative will not change now.”
Meanwhile, unconfirmed report has it that Fire Service Station in Afaha Ikot Ebak, Essien Udim Local Government Area of the state has been set ablaze by unknown gunmen.
Straightnews learnt that the incident took place Thursday and no group or person has claimed to have committed the arson.
This may be a fall-out of the mayhem that engulfed the area few weeks ago that resulted in the military operation in 12 villages.
Straightnews had reported that some hoodlums killed security operatives sent to restore peace and order in the area, an action that compelled Nigeria Air Force to have carried out aerial bombardment in some designated villages resulting in displacement of more than 5,000 persons as refugees.
In another development, the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel apparently worried over the persistent attacks on police facilities and killing of the personnel while on duty, has directed that the use of motorcycles be restricted from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m, state-wide.
The Secretary to State Government (SSG) Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem who announced this in a statement made available to newsmen in Uyo, the governor, the restriction commences same Saturday, May 1, 2021.
“The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel has directed as follows: That the use of Motorcycles from 10 p.m. till 6 a.m. is hereby banned.”
”That this restriction covers all types of motorcycles without exception (power bikes inclusive).
”That this ban which takes effect immediately, is daily and statewide. Security agencies have been directed to strictly enforce this directive.
“While regretting the inconvenience that this decision may cause law abiding citizens, the decision is a product of considered reasoning, taken in the overall interest of the security of lives and property, which is the primary responsibility of any government,” he stated