By Chioma Onuegbu

Uyo—THE Village Head of Ikot Edet in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Mfon Udoessien, has been kidnapped by gunmen.

Chief Udoessien was said to have been picked up from his palace, yesterday, by the gunmen after a fierce gun battle with the security agents drafted to provide security in the volatile area.

It was learned that the monarch is a brother-in-law to a former Head of Civil Service in Akwa Ibom State.

A resident of the area, who is simply identified as Eno, told newsmen that the monarch, a retired primary school headmaster and former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in the area, might have been abducted following his stance on cultism.

According to him, Udoessien has relentlessly been waging war against the activities of gunmen, who have kidnapped no fewer than eight persons in the village.

He said the whereabouts of the monarch is unknown, as the kidnappers are yet to contact the victim’s family.

Eno said: “We think the kidnappers came after the Village Head because of how he has been opposing their activities.

“As of now, we don’t know his whereabouts as the kidnappers are yet to contact any members of the monarch’s family.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the kidnap, said a meeting of the local government chairman and the security chiefs had been convened and far-reaching decisions taken to address the security challenges.

According to Macdon, “security measures are in place; we just concluded a meeting with all the local government chairmen and the security chiefs in the state. That issue came up during the meeting; it is being addressed.

“The monarch’s kidnap happened this morning (yesterday) and our men ran into action immediately. The DPO led a team to the palace.”

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