Fear of reprisal grips Akwa Ibom community as youths kill two
Palpable fears of reprisal attack have gripped the people of Afaha Oku, Ikpa community in Uyo council of Akwa Ibom State, following the burning of two Hausa metal dealers by youths for killing youth of the area.
The Guardian gathered that the incident happened on Sunday at about 9:00 a.m. when many residents of the area had gone to church.
Sources from the area revealed that the Hausa boys beat the youth, identified as Anietie, to coma. He was rushed to a hospital but he died on the way.
“According to an eyewitness, Anietie went to collect his clothes from the laundry that Sunday morning, he sighted the two Hausa scrap collectors, with some items removed from a welding shop in front of the compound.
“I learnt that he accosted them and asked them what they were doing in his compound; that who gave them permission to remove things from the compound, so the two Hausa boys beat him and he collapsed. When Anietie’s brother, who was inside the house saw what happened he raised the alarm.
“People now came out and caught the two Hausa scrap collectors. I learnt that the boy died on the way while he was being rushed to the hospital, so it was the news of his tragic death that now got the youths angry, and they now descended on those two Hausa people, threw them inside the gutter and burnt them to death.”
Confirming the incident, yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Odiko MacDon, said the deaths would have been averted if the youths and scrap collectors had not taken the law into their own hands.
He noted that police preliminary investigation revealed that within hours after the people left for church, the two scrap metal dealers entered Anietie’s House and stole certain items.
He said: “Unfortunately for them, the man just came back and met them in the act. So when he accosted them, a fight ensued. Unfortunately, the man went into a coma, which he never recovered from. He passed on while being rushed to the hospital.”
“So angry youths also attacked the two people responsible for his death and lynched them. They were burnt. But the police moved in immediately to restore normalcy, evacuated the remains, and also contacted the community leaders of both sides, the youths and urged them to maintain the peace.
“In fact, the Hausa community leader said he has given warnings to scrap metal dealers to desist from going out on Sundays except they want to steal.”
According to him, the Commissioner of Police has ordered that a very thorough investigation be conducted.
The PPRO reiterated that the proper thing to do is to hand over whoever was caught in the act of committing a crime to the police for investigation and prosecution, towards maintaining law and order in the society.
He warned that jungle justice would not be tolerated in the state in 2022, even as he said: “However, the CP condoles with families of both parties, while the investigation is ongoing.”