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Gunmen kill police officer in Akwa Ibom


There were separate attacks on two police facilities in the state on Sunday, according to the police.


The police in Akwa Ibom State have confirmed that a police officer was killed by hoodlums in the state on Sunday.


Besides Sunday’s attack on a police station in Abak, which was reported by PREMIUM TIMES, another police facility located at Mkpanak in Essien Udim Local Government Area of the state was attacked too, the police spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, disclosed in a statement on Monday.


Mr MacDon, a superintendent of police, identified the slain officer as Obadia Eli, who was attached to MOPOL 57 Ukana, in Essien Udim.


The officer was on his way to his beat when he was accosted and killed by the hoodlums, according to Mr MacDon.


The police spokesperson described the two facilities attacked as “outposts” which he said were non-operational at the time of the incident.


“At Ikot Odon (Abak), a scrap vehicle parked outside and a motorcycle inside were burnt, but the building wasn’t razed down, while at Mkpanak (Essien Udim), the Command commend the swift response from youth of the community, who quickly put out the fire meant to set the building ablaze.


“A little part of it was however affected,” he said.


Mr MacDon said the police in Akwa Ibom remain undaunted and committed to the provision of security in all parts of the state, despite the attacks.


He said the police have put up strategies to address the security challenges in the state, and called on residents to continue to support the police.


“This time shall pass,” he added.


Gunmen have attacked police facilities at least four times lately in Essien Udim. The deadliest attack in the area occurred in March in which three police officers were killed and four confirmed missing.


A resident of Essien Udim told PREMIUM TIMES that several people in the areas were forced to stay indoors out of panic during Sunday’s attack.


“People are just beginning to come out from their houses as we speak,” the resident said, around 5p.m. on Sunday.


“I think the Essien Udim attack was staged simultaneously with that of Abak,” he added.


Essien Udim, which shares a boundary with the neighbouring Abia State, has been notorious for cult-related violence and killings in the past.


Besides the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east, the perennial conflicts between farmers and herders, and the abduction for ransom in various parts of Nigeria, there has been a spate of deadly attacks on security agencies in the South-east and South-south geopolitical zones, which has compounded the security challenges in the two regions.

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