Again, unidentified gunmen yesterday morning killed a policeman attached to the Etim Ekpo Area Command in yet another coordinated attack on police formations in Akwa Ibom State.
The gunmen, who were repelled when they also attacked another station in Ika Council Area also reportedly burnt down the Multi Million Naira Godswill Akpabio Unity Hall in Essien Udim Local government council.
In a statement signed by the State Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko MacDon and made available to Journalists in Uyo, he said the armed men also attacked their Ika station but were repelled by policemen.
“At about 6:30am today, Armed Men, in their numbers, armed with AK 47 rifles and other dangerous weapons, in two vehicles attacked the rented building housing the Etim Ekpo Area Command and Division.
“The undaunted and vigilant Police Officers on duty, gallantly fought back, repelled them and averted the intended carnage. Unfortunately, a dedicated Officer, one PC Edogi Bassey paid the supreme price while a small portion of the building was touched.
“The gunmen who proceeded to Ika Division to perpetrate their nefarious activities were successfully again repelled leaving the Station intact without loss of lives or arms.” The statement explained.
The worrisome trend according to him was however been addressed by the Police hierarchy and required the cooperation and support of all residents of the state.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Amiengheme Andrew who is going round formations and Divisions to ensure alertness and safety of Officers, Men and the People has called on law abiding Citizens to volunteer timely information that will enable the Police tackle the present security challenges.” It said.
This will bring to 22 the number of policemen who have lost their lives to gunmen in a series of coordinated attacks on police formations in Akwa Ibom in less the last six weeks.
The attacks has also seen several stations torched and patrol vehicles burnt in stations located in border councils of Essien Udim,Ika,Ikono, Ini, Abak and Etim Ekpo.
Meanwhile the state government has banned the use of motorcycles from dusk to dawn in the troubled councils of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district.
All the recent attacks on the police in the state have taken place in the senatorial district.
A statement endorsed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem said the prohibition would cover all types of motorcycles without exception while security agencies have been directed to strictly enforce the directive.
“While regretting the inconvenience that this decision may cause law abiding citizens, the decision is a product of considered reasoning, taken in the overall interest of the security of lives and property, which is the primary responsibility of any government.” The statement said.
It would be recalled that Governor Udom Emmanuel only last Monday donated N60 million to the families of 21 policemen who were killed in the recent breaches on police stations across the state.
The Governor is also due to address the people of the state this Friday as part of effort to guarantee public safety in the wake of the multiple attacks in the state.