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Military onslaught displaces Akwa Ibom communities

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No fewer than nine villages in Essien Udim Council of Akwa Ibom State were displaced during last Tuesday’s military raid on the area to rid it of criminals.

This was contained in a message Chairman of the council, Anthony Luke, sent to the displaced persons and made available to newsmen in Uyo, the state capital.

He said the nefarious activities of hoodlums displaced several people from their homes and rendered life and property in the area unsafe. He explained further that activities of the hoodlums began in Essien Udim on February 22, 2021, when they attacked a police patrol personnel and their vehicle at Ikpe Annang junction, along the Ikot Ekpene-Uyo road.

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He said another havoc was repeated on officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at Nsasak junction, along Aba–Ikot Ekpene road, before the criminals set the Essien Udim Divisional Police Station at Nto Nsek ablaze and carted away arms and ammunition.

“By their extortion, intimidation, robbery and general abuse of the fundamental human rights of the people, the situation degenerated to a point where people started living in fear.

“A combined team of military and other security agencies in the state conducted a clearance operation at Ntak Ikot Akpan to flush out the miscreants, who have been wreaking havoc in the area.

“The operation, which deployed both land and aerial onslaught on the hoodlums and their hideouts, was successful as the criminals were dislodged,” he said.

He listed the affected communities as Ntak-Ikot-Akpan, Ukana-Uwa, Ikot-Udo- Ekpat and Ikot-Otu. Others are Ikot-Afangna, Nto-Nsek, Ikot-Abia, Ikot-Ankan, Ikot- Ukpong-Etor, Ikot-Ada-Utor, Nsasak and Ikot-Akpan-Essiet.

Luke explained that the displaced persons from these communities camped at St. Ann’s Cathedral, Ikot Ekpene, Civic Centre Atan, Ikot Okoro and St. Brigid Parish, Urua Akpan.

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