A supposed peace meeting in Uda community of Mbo Local council area of Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday, ended in fiasco as thugs allegedly hired by an Assistant Superintendent of police, Xavier Ekpe (retd) invaded the venue and killed a former youth leader, Godwin Tom, leaving several others injured.
It was also gathered that one Asukwo Etekpo was beaten to a state of coma, while another Michael Abia sustained deep machete cut on the head.
Narrating the incident, an indigene of the place simply identified as Christopher, said the meeting was organized by Uda traditional council towards finding a peaceful coexistence between two aggrieved parties in Unyenge but trouble started when the retired police superintendent Ekpe refused to acknowledge the headship of Chief Okon Etekpo as the traditional ruler of Unyenge
According to him, “On Wednesday, Ekpe hired some thugs to the venue of the meeting in Uda, which aimed at seeking a way to reconcile the aggrieved parties.
“He skipped the proceedings when the other elders had assembled and having known all his lies would be revealed at the parley where members of other party were around, he ensured that the meeting ended in a fiasco by launching an onslaught with the help of his thugs.”
However, in reaction, Ekpe described the accusation as baseless and unfounded, adding that he was a victim of the attack and had to be rescued by the village head of the community.
His words, “At the meeting, the president of the Uda Community was there, the Chief of Uda was there, I was there, including the students. They deliberated and at the end of it, those who came said they cannot go on with the matter, they fixed a date and the meeting was closed and we all moved.
“I don’t know what happened, I was in the road, when I wanted to pass they blocked me, it was the village head that saved me from the people. It is not true, it’s a blatant lie.
“Nobody died, personally I don’t know because I was beaten up by the same group of people.”
Meanwhile, when the state Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon was contacted, he said he has yet to receive information about the crisis but added that he would investigate the matter and ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.
He, however, cautioned the public against rushing to the media with information concerning the crisis, noting that the police were the right place to report all crisis situations.
“When things of this nature happen rather than rushing to the media, people should learn to report to the police for prompt action, have they reported the matter to the police or the DPO in the area?” Odiko queried.