Several persons have been reportedly killed in a bloody supremacy clash between two rival cult groups – Klaans and Black Axe confraternities, over the control of a minibus park in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
It was gathered that the incident started on Sunday, May 7, 2023, in the Nwaniba Area of the state when the two groups engaged each other over alleged encroachment into the park to collect parking tolls by one group, forcing an angry reaction from the opposing camp.
According to Punch, investigation revealed that eight people were slaughtered in Use Offot, and over 10 others were killed in Anua, Ekpri Nsukara and Oniong communities, while several others have been hospitalised in various hospitals with varying degrees of injuries.
A resident of the community, Nora Iwang, told newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday, that property estimated at several millions of naira have been destroyed in the crisis while thousands have deserted their homes.
Nora who said she was returning home that fateful day, disclosed that she had to sleep with relations and friends outside the area, following distressed calls from frightful neighbours around Udo Ekpo Nkpo Street.
“Thank God, I finally arrived at my house this morning (Tuesday) after my friends called me Monday evening to sleep elsewhere and not to return for fear of being killed by the rampaging armed hoodlums,” Iwang lamented.
Another resident, Anofiok Usen said, “My wife called me at about 7:50 pm on Monday, that I should not return home because of ongoing killings around my area in Udo Ekpo Nkpo Street and the adjoining areas of Nwaniba, Ekpri Nsukara, Eniong Offot and Use Offot communities. I had to take refuge at my sister’s place off Abak road till this morning, Tuesday,”
“Throughout these last three days, we’ve been staying indoors from 6:00 pm because of the fight and the Police operatives would only mount the guard on major roads, harassing ordinary unarmed civilians without going into the villages to confront the real culprits,” another resident, who identified herself as Emem Duncan.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the killings in a statement on Tuesday, said only four people were killed.
“The Commissioner of Police Olatoye Durosinmi, is miffed at the disruption of public order and safety by two rival cult groups at Anua Offot and Use Offot, both at Nwaniba, in Uyo Local Government Area, leading to the loss of lives,” the PPRO said.
“The CP condemned in strong terms the wanton destruction of lives and has vowed to bring perpetrators to book, hence, he has deployed Tactical resources to restore order and fish out the perpetrators.
““The CP has, therefore, called on residents of the said communities and Uyo, to go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation and be assured of their safety because of strategies emplaced.
“He has sent a clear warning to perpetrators of these dastardly acts to desist forthwith or face the dire consequences of their actions.”