A passenger travelling with an Akwa Ibom Transport Company bus, has been shot dead while three others were wounded by suspected cultists at Ikot Mkporikpo axis of the Abak-Iwukem road in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The incident happened on Tuesday while the passengers were traveling from Uyo in Akwa Ibom State to Aba in Abia State.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Odiko Ogbeche, who confirmed the incident, said the police are on the trail of the hoodlums with a view to bringing them to justice.
According to him, ”The militants shot sporadically at the bus when the driver refused to stop after being flagged down by the hoodlums. Another bus, which ran into the scene in flight, veered off the road, crashed into a building and caught fire when the driver lost control.
”The occupants of the bus that belongs to the Akwa Ibom Transport Company, had to bleed profusely ‘because the driver refused to stop and drop the affected passengers at the nearby health centre for treatment.
“One of the injured passengers died on the way because the driver was afraid and refused to stop after the shooting incident. He insisted on reaching safely in Aba before discharging the injured for treatment, but along the road, one died before reaching the hospital in Aba.”
The PPRO expressed worry over the activities of the hoodlums, wondering why the militants refused to heed the Olive branch extended to them by the state Gov. Udom Emmanuel, who had asked them to lay down their arms for amnesty, rehabilitation and re-integration.
Emmanuel had during his visit to the area a week ago, donated relief materials to thousands of community dwellers in both Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun LGAs displaced by the prolong security crisis caused by cultists.
It was learnt that with the crisis unabated even in the face of sustained interventions by security forces, Ogbeche said religious organisations have been drafted in for spiritual solution.
“As I am talking to you now, we are praying right now at the Utu Etim Ekpo Local Government Secretariat for solution to these crises,” he said.