Scores of people have been reportedly killed during a military operation on Tuesday in a community in Essien Udin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Ntak Ikot Akpan, a community in the state which the military said it targeted with aerial bombardment is a place where miscreants who attacked and killed some Police officers recently are located.
The Police, last week, confirmed that three of their officers were killed, while four were missing in the area.
According to the army spokesperson, Mohammed Yerima, a Brigadier General “The operation was successfully executed and resulted in the dislodgment of the criminals while fleeing hoodlums were neutralised by the Air Component,”
“The general security situation in Akwa Ibom state has been very peaceful until recently when the security situation around Essien Udim Local Government Area of the State became tense occasioned by activities of some hoodlums and criminal elements.
“The miscreants exploited various avenues to acquire weapons to perpetrate their heinous crimes. In the past few weeks, the group has attacked various security agencies which resulted in the loss of lives and carting away of weapons.
“The last incident led to the killing of some policemen including a CSP. The hoodlums continued to terrorise law abiding citizens through extortions and infringement on their rights,”
Mr Yerima said normalcy has been restored in the area, and that people could now go about their businesses.
A Police spokesperson in Akwa Ibom, Odiko MacDon “Whereas the remote and immediate causes of these unprovoked attacks are unknown, a discreet investigation is on the way to unravel the same and seek a lasting solution,” he said.
The increasing attacks on Police officers and Police facilities in Nigeria’s South East and South South could complicate the worsening insecurity in the regions.
Essien Udim Local Government Area, which shares a boundary with the neighbouring Abia State, has been notorious for cult-related violence and killings.
About four weeks ago, some gunmen attacked a Police Station in the area and set fire on parts of the station and some old vehicles which were parked as exhibits inside the station’s premises.
The attack was the second on Police officers and Police facilities in the area in less than one week.
Reacting to incessant attacks and other crimes, the Akwa Ibom State Government, on March 26, banned the use of motorcycles and tricycles from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. in Essien Udim and two other nearby local government areas, in order to “check criminal activities.”