Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
There is palpable tension in Nkek village, Ukanafun local government area of Akwa Ibom State following the killing of a farmer identified as Lucky Christopher Udoakpan by herdsmen.
The council chairman, Mr. Uko Idiong, who disclosed this to journalists via a telephone call on Sunday, said Udoakpan was killed on Friday when he went to weed grass on his farm.
Idiong said the deceased was on his farm when some herdsmen entered and insisted on feeding their cattle with his crops and this led to a quarrel between him and the herdsmen.
He said the herders had in the fit of rage pulled out machetes and inflicted cuts on the deceased. The injuries sustained from the attack led to his (farmer) death.
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The council chief said: ”The incident happened in Nkek village. Nkek village is in Ward 3 in Southern Ukanafun, Ukanafun local government area. Youths of the village called to inform me of the incident and I quickly went there with the House of Assembly member, Hon. Charity Ido, to inspect the scene.
“But before I went there I had to call my Divisional Police Officer, Edet Offiong, who was ahead of me. The police saw the corpse and took it to the compound of one of the chiefs in the village. So I told them to wait till I arrive.
” When I got there the youths of the village were aggrieved and I had to talk to them to remain calm. The villagers informed me that the deceased went to his farm to weed.
“When he (deceased) was there he saw the herdsmen with their cattle. He told them to leave his farm because the cows were destroying his crops.”
He said the villagers told him that when the farmer and the herdsmen were talking, the herdsmen challenged him (Udoakpan) and brought out daggers and machetes and cut the man in about three places on his body and he died.
“I directed that the corpse should be deposited in the mortuary that same day. It is regrettable and sad that the man died leaving behind his newborn baby who is still breastfeeding, a young wife and an aged mother.
“I told the DPO that they should look for the herdsmen who killed the man. But the police reported back to me, saying they could not find them as not even the footprints of the herdsmen or the cows were seen,” Idiong added.
The state Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Odiko MacDon, confirmed the incident, saying “the policemen are aware of the incident and investigation is ongoing.”