Attack On Council Boss: Police Commissioner Charged To Ensure Justice
UYO, May 20, (THEWILL) - Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Gwadabe has been charged to ensure the apprehension of attackers of the transition chairman of Mbo Local Government Area, Evangelist Okpo Ekere, without delay.
Deputy Governor Nsima Ekere gave the charge on Sunday, shortly after visiting the chairman at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, where he was receiving medical attention. He also mandated the commissioner for youth and sports, Pastor Ita Umo-Udo to immediately dissolve the youth executive at the centre of the crisis between Efiat and Ebughu Communities in Mbo Local Government Area.
Evangelist Ekere had escaped death by the skin of his teeth, after he was attacked and shot by unidentified gunmen during his visit to Ebughu Community in Mbo, to settle its long-running communal feud with Efiat Community.
A community source told THEWILL that daredevil youths of the community fired several gun shots into the belly of the council boss, nearly disemboweling him.
“They even cut his head with a machete after they shot at him,” the source said. “I think they wanted him dead, because the Mopol orderly with the chairman pleaded with them, telling them that he was the chairman and only wanted to make peace for them, but they refused to let him go.”
The source, who simply identified himself as Effiong, said that the council chairman was rushed to a nearby traditional healer at Edikor Community, where more than eight bullets were removed from his body before he was taken to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, UUTH, for medical treatment.
Narrating further, Effiong disclosed that the war ensued when the corpse of a youth from Ebughu, suspected to have been murdered by youths of Efiat, was discovered under the sand. As a reprisal, Ebughu youths launched attack on anybody they came across, including Evangelist Ekere, the council chairman who hails from Udesi.
Condemning the attack, the deputy governor described it as callous, irresponsible, dastardly and despicable, wondering why the chairman, who only waded in to sue for peace between the two contending parties, should be attacked.
He admonished youths in the state to desist from taking laws into their hands no matter the provocation, assuring that the state government was ever willing to address their genuine grievances.
He, however, expressed delight that the chairman’s condition was stable, and commended the chief medical director and the chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, of the hospital for promptly responding with the necessary surgery to preserve his life.