Akwa Ibom villages in throes of cult war


Rival cult clashes have left two persons dead  in Etim Ekpo local government area between Iceland and Debam groups.

The clash saw the sacking of Udianga Enem community as the Village Head, Chief Mendie Udoekoriko, fled his throne for safety.

It was learnt that Iceland cult group stormed the Udianga Enem community to retrieve stolen items, allegedly seized by rival cult group, Debam, in the nearby community of Obong Ntak.

Narrating how the incident happened, a member of Udianga Enem community youth association, who preferred to be anonymous said invaders led by the Iceland leader came for a truce with its rival group, Debam to recover some items.

He stated that in the process, there was an altercation that led to the death of one person, and caused many villagers to scamper for safety for fear of reprisals.

“Iceland leader came for a truce with the other group, Debam to recover those properties through negotiation.

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“Unfortunately, a scuffle ensued, leading to the death of one person while others fled.

“We could not report the matter to the Police at the Area Command because the Village Head who would have coordinated the process immediately fled his throne,” he stated.

It could be recalled that a Pastor was killed in the presence of the Village Head, Chief Mendie Udoekoriko, around his palace area a few years ago when the cults war raged.

To stop the cult war, Governor Udom Emmanuel offered the cultists amnesty, and several of them responded by leaving the bush and dropping their arms. However, the resurgence of gun violence has forced people to abandon their farms and flee.

The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the incident said, “full scale investigation will begin as soon as the Etim Ekpo Area Command gives details.”

He called on members of the society to be law abiding and report any act of crime in good time to the Police for urgent action.

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He further warned hoodlums in the habit of taking the laws into their hands to desist or be prepared to face the fire power of Police operatives.

He said, “no one should cash in on the peaceful nature of the state to perpetrate evil.”