Police identify 59 people, declare them wanted for alleged terrorism in Akwa Ibom after 4 church leaders are abducted
– The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in Akwa Ibom says it has identified 59 people in a crises that erupted
– The police alleges that they were involved in two crises that leading to the abduction of four church leaders
– Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, commissioner of police, reveals some of the challenges being faced
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in Akwa Ibom, on Sunday, June 10, declared 59 persons alleged to be ring leaders and sponsors of insecurity within Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo local government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state commissioner of police, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, released the names of the wanted persons in a statement made available to newsmen in Uyo, the capital of the state.
According to the report, Ogunjemilusi said the suspects were needed to explain their roles in the resurgence of and persistent crises in the two affected areas during which four church leaders and one official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were kidnapped for ransom last week at Uruk Ata 2 community.
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He said they are allegedly involved and connected with series of crimes such as armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, unlawful possession of firearms and terrorism.
Ogunjemilusi noted that the assailants were also said to have killed eight people, torched seven houses and abducted two female students of Obong University, Obong Ntak, in Etim Ekpo.
The commissioner said that the police had launched a manhunt towards freeing other captives from their abductors.
“The listed suspects are still within the crises areas. Difficult terrain and equipment have been hindering our operations.
“Even the Blue River at Azumini that they (the criminals) always use to migrate into Abia, Rivers and other neighbouring states after operations is even too shallow for navy boats,” he said.
He noted that collaborative security operations comprising the police, navy, army and other security agencies working with local communities have been intensified in the past one week to dislodge the criminals and their sponsors from the areas.
Ogunjemilusi said that one or two communities in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun have become the last point of resistance due to difficult terrain.
The report said Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom had promised to deal with sponsors of violence in the troubled areas.
Governor Emmanuel said that government was aware of the intensity of criminal activities in the areas and was strategically pursuing a course to entrench lasting peace in the area.