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Skolombo Boys, kidnappers go on rampage

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Bullet shells fired by the gang

Bullet shells fired by the gang

The kidnappers came with a canoe and during the operation, which lasted for almost 10 minutes, blindfolded the lady and dragged her through the muddy path down to where they kept their canoe

Criminal activities are gradually returning to the ancient city of Calabar with cultists, popularly known as the Skolombo boys going on rampage again. Just last week, Skolombo boys, numbering over 50, moved from house to house, robbing people in Anantigha, Calabar South.

Now living in fear, residents of the area have appealed to the Cross River State government to come to their rescue so as to curtail activities of the armed gangs, who now operate with impunity.

A resident, who simply gave his name as Iyadim, said, “the dreaded gang operated for hours, robbing from street to street, and carting away valuables from unsuspecting members of the public. The whole of Anantigha residents now live in fear without any police presence.”

Similarly, a gang of kidnappers, numbering about seven in the same area stormed God’s Remembrance Covenant Ministry, located at 54, Ebuka Ebuka Street, Anantigha last week and kidnapped a young girl, who is daughter of the church founder.

A resident of the area, who gave his name as Ekpenyong, said “the kidnappers came with a canoe and during the operation, which lasted for almost 10 minutes, blindfolded the lady and dragged her through the muddy path down to where they kept their canoe.”

In an emotion-laden voice, mother to the abducted girl, said: “I am a widow. God called me into this ministry to preach Christ. I am not a business tycoon or politician. I struggle all alone to bring up these three children after the death of their father.”

She said all the mobile phones of worshippers who were in church, including hers, were carted away by the kidnappers. She appealed to those keeping her daughter to have mercy on the girl by releasing her unconditionally.

In a related development, the Commissioner for Transport in the state, Mr. Saviour Nyong, was attacked by unknown gunmen at about 9.00a.m.am in his office on Monday. An eyewitness said the gunmen, numbering about 10 stormed the office while they were in a meeting, damaged several equipment and threatened to kill the commissioner.

Commenting on recent criminal activities in the state, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. John Eluu, confirmed that in the past one month criminal activities have been on the increase in Calabar even though the police are poised to arrest the situation adopting different strategies.

He said: “We are aware of the upsurge in criminal activities just within this first month of the year. The police are not sitting with hands folded. We have been doing a lot. For instance, the Skolombo Boys or cultists carried out an attack last Friday but many of them have been arrested. As we speak, 14 of them are right now in the State CID (Crime Investigation Department) undergoing interrogation, after which they would be charged to court if found culpable.”



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