By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
One person has been reportedly killed and a widow identified as Mrs Aniema Etuk maimed by cultists terrorising Inen community in Oruk Anam local government area of Akwa Ibom State since the beginning of this year.
However, it was gathered that the Widow was attacked on Monday when she left the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, in Church premises, where most of them that fled the community are taking refuge following the violent activities of rival cult groups Debam and Iceland, to her farm in Inen community to look for food for her hungry children.
A source from the community told newsmen yesterday in Uyo that the intention of the cultists numbering over twenty may have been to maim her, abandoned her in her pool of blood from several matchet cuts to die, but fortunately, someone saw her and rushed her to an undisclosed hospital in Uyo the state capital where is currently receiving treatment.
Narrating her experience to some newsmen from her hospital bed on Tuesday the victim said she was caught by the cultists at Inen Junction.
Her words, “On Monday my children were very hungry and were crying for food. I asked myself what I have done to deserve this kind of condition? Then I decided to go to the village at about 10 am to bring some food items from my farm for my children to eat.
“As I arrived Inen Junction close to my house, the cultists numbering about 20 shouted at me to stop. They came in group and started slapping me one by one. Two of them brought out matchet and gave me cuts on my back, leg, hands, all parts of my body.
“I fled from Inen Ikot Offiong when activities of the cultists became unbearable. I ran away the day cultists set the police post very close to my house ablaze. So I took my children and ran to Christ Faith Church, Ikot Ibritam, the Council headquarters where we are taking refuge.
“I am only a poor widow. I don’t know how my children are going to survive in the church premises now that I am in this condition. I cannot even afford money for the hospital bills, and the drugs”
Sources from the area lamented that since the cult clash started in the area no fewer than 3000 persons including women and children have been displaced by rival cult clashes in Inen community while some are taking refuge in the IDPs camp.
It was also gathered that no fewer than 70 persons have lost their lives during the cult clashes in the affected communities.
Reliable sources from the area disclosed that even indigenes of the community in the Diaspora after considering the plight of the residents contributed some money to enable the displaced persons to buy food items.
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Some concerned community leaders from the area are appealing to government and donor agencies to come to the aid of the IDPs.
Public Relations Officer of Inen Stakeholders Forum, Mr Anyanime Umoren noted, ” Right now we have levied our people so that we can raise money and buy more foodstuffs for the IDPs. And we are pleading with donor agencies and Government to save them from hunger, starvation.
“For instance that maimed widow now in the hospital needs more than N3million for her treatment and we don’t know how the money will be raised to save her life. Her children she left in the refugee camp are now stranded in the camp. It is a terrible situation”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Odiko MacDon said the command is tackling cultism in the area as there is a special operation going on to fish out the cultists terrorising the affected communities.