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… Cult groups, kidnap kingpin change direction of crimes

By Saviour Ekpe

It is no more news that the Akwa Ibom state Police Command has successfully stemmed the tide of criminality in Etim Ekpo/Ukanafun local government areas of Akwa Ibom State. It is also no more news that the Akwa Ibom state Government has granted the suspects amnesty, but what trends in the areas currently is the change of direction of those suspected criminals.

It could be recalled that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration has been plagued by all sort of criminal activities in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, killing and other cult related activities, though it is clear that it was an inherited issue not caused by Udom Emmanuel government.

The present Commissioner of Police immediate waded into action by calling for a peaceful negotiation between the suspected criminals and the Akwa Ibom State government, which over 400 of them surrendered guns of different kinds, bullets and other weapons to the police, while the governor pledged to look into the forms they filed on various skills they wished to embark upon if supported by the government.

Reports have it that since after such hilarious move, the suspected criminals that were believed that repented were asked to go home and wait for further action of the government. During this period, everything was kept in abeyance thereby, giving them the opportunity to mingle with members of those communities. Century Newsfront findings revealed that these set of human beings are now going house to house, on the road to snatch phones, money as well as entering provision shops to cart away goods and other valuables from the unsuspected members of the community who complained that, “we are living in fear”.

When Century Newsfront contacted some of the suspected criminals, at different for a regretted that the government is not treating them well, “do you know how we bought a riffle? What can twenty thousand naira buy, why the government should mock us with twenty thousand naira?” they queried.

It is on record that on separate moves, the Executive Chairmen of the two affected local councils led members of their teams along with the Police Area Commander and all service Chiefs in the areas on a visit where cash of one million naira, relief materials and words of encouragement were given to them. The end of this hocus-pocus only time will tell.

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