By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Police in Akwa Ibom State have confirmed the death of two soldiers by unidentified gunmen at a road construction site in Ikot Ibritam community of the state.
The deceased were attached to an expatriate working for Al Madel Construction Company handling state government project in the state who was also abducted by the gunmen.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Odiko MacDon who co confirmed the incident in a phone interview, however assured that those involved in the crime would be arrested.
“We have received information about the unfortunate dastardly incident at the road project in Ikot Ibritam, Inen Ekeffe leading to Ukanafun. We are working with our sister agencies to identity, arrest and prosecute those involved,” he said.
The incident which occurred on Tuesday afternoon as the expatriate engineer working with the construction company was inspecting work at the site has left the villagers in palpable fear of possible attack by soldiers.
An eyewitness, Mr. Friday Idiok said that the two soldiers were killed while escorting the expatriate on routine inspection of the road project along Idim Okpok mini bridge in Inen Ekeffe the boundary village between OrukAnam and Ukanafun local government areas.
Idiok said the gunmen whisked the expatriate engineer away immediately the two soldiers were shot dead on the spot.
“There was sporadic shootings here and before you know what was happening, two soldiers were dead. The gunmen also escaped with the soldiers guns and took the expatriate to their hideout. Everybody here is in panic mode, we don’t know what the government would do on this matter”
Also collaborating the incident, the clan head of Inen, Obong Johnson Johnny Obosi said the community was on the burial ground of one of their sons late Mr Udoimoh when they heard gunshots and the residents ran away.
“We were at burial of one of our brothers late Mr. Udoimoh when we were about to be entertained, we heard gunshots. The next report was that two soldiers attached to expatriates working on the road construction project that links my community with Ukanafun have been killed and expatriate kidnapped. “
Obong Obosi who could not establish the nationality of the kidnapped expatriate said soldiers from Ibagwa Barracks arrived in their ambulance and carried the corpse of the dead soldiers to the mortuary.
Another resident of the area, Mr Enobong Etuk observed that the incident was a fall out of the collapse of government’s amnesty granted to militants from Ukanafun as government could not keep their own part of the bargain with the hoodlums.
“We wonder why this incident should happen. The project had continued smoothly in OrukAnam axis but when it gets to Ukanafun killing and kidnapping set in. Government must look inward to fish out perpetrators of this crime.”