ByÂ Tony NyongNO fewer than 15 gunmen, suspected to be kidnappers stormed the Qua Iboe Church in Iwok, Nsit Atai Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and abducted a former Director-GeneralÂ of the National Youth Service Corps,Â NYSC, Major-General Edet Akpan (rtd). They also killed a woman, police officer and a soldier.
The suspected kidnappers, who were said to be in police uniforms, stormed the church during service also created a stir as they shot sporadically inside the church, leaving several members of the church seriously wounded in the operation that lasted 10 minutes.
A source close to the former General told Vanguard that the hoodlums who stormed the church in one white Hilux and a black Mercedes 190 Benz without number-plates disrupted the service by their sporadic shootings. This led the worshippers run for their dear lives. However, Gen. Akpan was unlucky as he was seized, put in their boot and was driven away.
The source added that not a few of the worshipppersÂ sustained injuries as a result of the stampede and were moved to nearby hospitals and health centres for medical attention.
The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Walter Rugbere, confirmed the incident. He said of the three killed, two were personal guards to Akpan while the other was a member of the church caught by the stray bullet.
He, however, revealed that a man suspected to be a member of the gang has been apprehended by the police and that serious investigations have already commenced to track those behind the incident.
It will be recalled that prior to the coming ofÂ Rugbere, kidnapping was almost becoming a daily occurrence until the police boss arrived the state, vowing to end crimes in the state.
Meanwhile, most clerics including the Catholic Bishop of Uyo, Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Ekuwem, have warned thatÂ except something was done, the 2010 election and its campaign that would soon start would witness bloodbath going by the level of kidnappings in the state.