Akwa Ibom govt imposes curfew on two local govt areas, Warns Politicians Against Heating Polity
The Akwa Ibom State government is stepping up the fight against cult-related violence and killings in the state.
As part of measures towards tackling the spate of insecurity in some LGAs of the State, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, alongside top security chiefs in the state on Wednesday visited Etim Ekpo for a meeting with stakeholders of the affected LGAs.
Apart from the recent proscription of 32 cult groups in the state, the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, on Tuesday imposed curfew on Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas because of cult-related killings in the areas.
Residents in the areas are to stay indoors between 6.00 p.m. and 7.00 a.m. daily, the state Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh, said in a statement. He did not say how long the curfew will last.
The government, which said the ban on motorcycle in the Uyo city was still in force, also banned the use of motorcycle in Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, and Eket between 6.00 p.m. and 7.00 a.m. daily.
The government said anyone who violates the ban will be prosecuted.
Governor Emmanuel followed up on Wednesday with a town hall meeting at Etim Ekpo with the people of Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun to discuss the security crisis in the areas.
The town hall was attended by the Commissioner of Police, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, and the Director of State Security Service, SSS, S. M. Waziri, and top government officials in the state.
“With this peace meeting today, there will be total peace in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun Local Government Areas,” the governor said to the crowd inside the hall where the meeting took place.
Addressing stakeholders of the affected LGAs Governor Udom Emmanuel said he was desirous of ensuring a restoration of Peace, Security and Order in the affected LGAs to pave way for development and growth of indigenes of the areas.
In anticipation of what could further create some security challenges in the areas, Emmanuel advised would be aspirants in the forthcoming 2019 elections to avoid any form of insistence, if not favoured by the internal zoning arrangement of the area, for fear of unduly heating up the polity.
“If you know zoning does not favour you, please don’t bother spending money, don’t tell me you sold your house and properties to contest for election, I am saying it now so you don’t say you did not hear”.
The commissioner of police, Mr. Ogunjemilusi, promised to deploy more men to the areas. “There will be no hiding place for cultists and other criminals in this state,” he vowed.
Meanwhile the decision of the Governor to hold security meeting in the troubled local government areas has been commended by a politician, philanthropist and banker.
Speaking during the meeting Mr Ndiana-Abasi Nana Udom said “Your Excellency, I commend you for organizing this Town Hall meeting to discuss and proffer solutions to the security challenges in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun Local Government Areas. This is a welcome development that will restore peace and development to the areas.”
Akwa Ibom State, in recent times, has witnessed an increase in cult-related violence and killings, especially in Essien Udim, Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun, Ikot Ekpene, and Eket local government areas.
A commercial driver was recently burnt to death along Etim Ekpo-Iwukem-Abak Highway when suspected cultists attacked and robbed a bus.
In November, last year, gunmen stormed the Ukanafun country home of the then Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state, Udo Ekpenyong, and shot dead his younger sister. Two more persons were killed by the gunmen elsewhere in the community.