By Chioma Onuegbu
EKET- RESIDENTS of Akwa Ibom State, particularly Uyo, Eket and Itu Local Government Areas, have expressed worry over the rising cases of robbery in their localities.
How they operate – Udoh
A victim, who simply identified himself as Mr. Udoh, told NDV, last Friday, that hoodlums dispossessed him and his wife of their cell phones and money at gunpoint, some weeks ago, at Eket.
“It happened weeks ago after I closed from work. I decided to go to my wife’s shop to assist her that day and about 8:30 pm, we decided to close the shop and go home.
“We were trekking home when two young men on a motorcycle blocked us and one of them brought out a gun and pointed it at me. Then he shouted at me to give him my cell phone and I quickly did that. Then he forcefully snatched my wife’s handbag and they took off.
“The way they operate is that they do not waste time. They rob within two to five minutes and if you resist them, they shoot you. I read that the Police have arrested some of them within Uyo area. They should also do something about Eket area before it gets out of control,” he said.
I shut my shop for 2 days – Uduak
Similarly, a shop operator along Ikot Ekpene Road, Mrs. Uduak, asserted: “I did not open my shop for two days when I saw what happened last week Monday. Large number of young boys terrorised Ikot Ekpene Road about 9.00 pm, robbing shops and some innocent people on the street.”
“People who cited them from afar started running for their life. I was very lucky because I saw them pass and after few minutes, a young lady ran into my shop panting and when I asked what was happening, she said those boys beat her up and took her phone and purse.
“Immediately, I locked up my shop and left for home. Most of us used to close shop between 9.00 pm and 10.00 pm, but now people do not stay beyond. They were more than 20 in number and they were carrying axes, long Iron and even heavy wood.
“I was told that they also attacked one Hausa man that sells Suya close to the LG Electronic Plaza, along Afaha Ube Itam, off Ikot Ekpene Road and took his money. But I was told that Police pursued them that night, may be they would have continued the following day because that is how they usually operate,” she added.
Why I don’t carry young boys at night- Tricycle rider
A tricycle operator, Ime, said he no longer carry young boys at night because of their experiences in the hands of hoodlums around that Ikot Ekpene – Idoro axis .
Police declare war on cultists – PPRO
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Akwa Ibom Command, DSP Bala Elkana, who disclosed that police arrested 67 criminal elements in the past few weeks, said that many armed robbery, kidnapping and rape cases in the state have link with cultism.
“Cultism has become a monster in Akwa Ibom that must be fought. On our side, we are clamping down on them but the communities must see cultism as a problem and support us. We have declared war on them.