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Soldier shot as IPOB militia annex, hoist Biafran flag in A’Ibom

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By Theresa Ukpong, uyo

A soldier has been reportedly shot dead at Ikot Akpan village in Ukana Uwa East, Essien Udim local government area of Akwa Ibom state during exchange of gunfire between suspected Eastern Security Network (ESN) militia and Joint military Task Force (JTF).

Operational van of the military personnel were razed during the clash, forcing the soldiers to retreat.

Orient Daily gathered that the army operatives had gone to dislodge the ESN operatives who invaded and set up camp in Ikot Akpan community in Essien Udim Local Government Area of the state and hoisting Biafran flag.

The clash was a fall-out of an earlier attack on the resident of a police Inspector Aniekan, who was killed in the early morning inferno that the hoodlums had set to engulf his house at Ikot Afanga community in the area.

According to a local resident who would not want his name in print, “soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) were drafted in to contain the hoodlums when Police operatives who tried to storm their camp at Ikot Akpan Akpan community were repelled by the militia group”.

“The entire community of Ikot Akpan has been deserted by the local residents who had since fled to the neighbouring Ikot Ekpene, Abak  and Uyo Local Government Areas for fear of being caught in the crossfire when the soldiers regroup to launch counter attacks”, Chief Effiong Inyang, a community leader in Essien Udim laments.

Calling on the state government to take decisive action in addressing the security challenge facing the Local Government, Chief Inyang, who lamented that the palace of the village head was torched, recalled that “in the recent times, hoodlums have launched series of attacks at Police targets in the Local Government, killing two Police Inspectors and razing a section of Essien Udim Divisional Police station with several cars, tricycles and motorcycles destroyed by the inferno.

Following the killing of the Police Inspector on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Odiko Macdon, a Police Superintendent (SP), was quoted as having assured that the security situation in the troubled zone was under control following swift action by the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Amiengheme Andrew, who immediately dispatched security operatives to contain the hoodlums, who were repelled before the military JTF were drafted in leading to more skirmishes.

“There is an ongoing operation there as the CP has drafted our personnel to deal with the problem”, he assured, adding that the remote and immediate causes of the fracas would be established as soon as investigations were concluded.

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