By Harris Emanuel, Uyo
Outrage has greeted the alleged killing of two persons by suspected members of the Icelaand confraternity in the simmering cult war in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state.
Vanguard gathered that the victims, indigenes of Okoyo village in Ukanafun Local Government Area of the state, were reportedly mowed down near Akpan Ido compound at about 4:00 am in Ikot Ese village.
A source in the area, who identified the victims as Nkereuwem Ime Udo Ekere and Effioyo Emmanuel, stated that they were returning from a night vigil organized by the New Church at Ikot Ese village when they were attacked.
It was not yet clear as at press time whether they were members of a rival gang in the crisis-scarred area.
The source said, “These people were attending a night prayer and crusade at the New Church in Ikot Ese village. They own a gospel band that some Churches and other events planners would hire for their occasion.
“After the prayer session, they left the Church as early as 4:00 am on a motorcycle heading towards Okoyo village in Ukanafun Local Government Area, but were ambushed few meters from the Church near Enen Akpan Ido (Akpan Ido compound) and shot dead.
“The motorcycle rider died instantly, while the passenger who fled with serious bullet wounds later collapsed and died.
“Many people have lost their lives trying to navigate the labyrinth road from Ikot Ese to connect the Urua Obo Inyang market axis that leads to Okoyo and other areas in the neighbouring Ukanafun Local Government Area.
“It is the continuation of the cult war between the Icelaanders (the Red) and the Debam (the White) because this supremacy war has been ongoing in the last couple of months and, if you check, the assailant did not steal the motorcycle or any other valuables from them.”
The latest killings have brought to four, the number of cults’-related killings in Etim Ekpo Local Government, as two were earlier reportedly killed at Obong Ntak and Udianga Enem communities in recent times.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Odiko Macdon, a Superintendent of Police said the matter was yet to be reported to the Police, adding that operatives would commence investigation into the incident.
“We don’t have an official report of this nature yet. We will commence an investigation, but anyone with useful information should please contact us”, the Police spokesman stressed.