By Tony Nyong
UYOâ€”The tension that gripped Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, penultimate Tuesday following the killing of two brothers at the Ewet sand beach has resurrected as the police are yet to make any official statement following rumours that the assassins, who committed the dastardly act were apprehended inÂ Calabar, capital of Cross Rriver state.
Although the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Walter Rugbere, had quickly reacted after the killing reaffirming that his men were soon to catch up with the suspected hired assassins, the police continued silence has given room to speculations that there is some conspiracy that might allow the murderers make their escape.
Owing to this scenario, youths of Uyo who for more than one year have witnessed several violent killings and blood baths, decided to rise against similar violent killings by coming together to demonstrate on major streets of Uyo, calling on government to help stop the killings and kidnapping in the city.
But the peaceful protest of the youths surprisingly resulted in a clash with the men of the state Police command who turned against the youths they were meant to protect and fired tear gas canisters at them, causing a stampede that left several persons badly wounded and others admitted in the hospital.
From the home of the murdered brothers, the youths who started the demonstration with placards, some which read: â€œUyo Youths say No to kidnapping,â€ â€œGovernor Akapbio we didnâ€™t vote you to live in fearâ€, the placard-carrying protesters were dispersed in commotion and prevented from getting to the Akwa Ibom state government House, where they had marched to present two caskets, supposedly belonging to the two brothers to Chief Godswill Akpabio, the state governor, who was then farawayÂ in the United States of America.
Even when the Police who chased away the protesting youths had taken the two coffins to the â€˜Aâ€™ Division of the police station in Uyo, near the government house, the youths in realising how serious the case was, have decided to storm the entire streets of Uyo on rampage in a yet to be announced date to demand that the police should make known to the public detailed reports of those behind the rampant killings.
While the distraught relations and friends of the late brothers are still suffering the pains and anguish of their dead brother, indigenes of Ewet Offot, from where the deceased hailed, have sworn not to allow the matter be swept under the carpet like many other cases, promising to take it up with the police to any level.
A youth leader in the community who pleaded notÂ to be named disclosed that all supermarkets, shops, markets, hospitals and schools in the area would not be opened in total mourning of the â€˜two lightsâ€™ of their community, put out, according to him by criminals known by some highly placed persons in the society.
The youths further complained that in the two years of the Akpabio-led administration violent crimes and kidnappings had reached a feverish pitch as not less than 100 people including the former Speaker of the state Assembly, Chief Nelson Effiong and the father of the current Speaker, PaÂ Kevin Edet, have been kidnapped along side numerous others.
Although the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio has cried out that he was not a kidnapper as being alleged by top politicians with the former FCT Minister of State, Senator John James Akpanudoedeghe being the arrow head, many citizens of the state have continued to point accusing fingers at government.
Akpabio who spoke through his Information Commissioner, Aniekan Umana, said those accusing him of sponsoring kidnappers were merely out to distract his administration in a reaction published in the Punch Newspaper of June 14,2009, but Iniobong-Abasi Ubong Ekpenyong, a former chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, insisted abducted wife was still in the hands of the governor.
A one time military governor of Ogun and Rivers states, Group Captain Sam Ewang had also raised the alarm that Akpabio was behind the incidence of kidnappings in the South-South states.