HAPPENING NOW!! Tension In Akwa Ibom As Multiple Bomb Explosion Rocks Essien Udim LGA
Hoodlums’ hideout in Akwa Ibom State’s Essien Udim Local Government Area was hit by a bomb blast.
Residents of the Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State were panicked on Tuesday as the military bombarded the Ikot Akpan forest in the area, according to Weetalknaija.
The military operation, according to Weetalknaija, was aimed at flushing out hoodlums who had been targeting police formations in the state.
Residents who share borders with hoodlum hideouts told one of our correspondents that the forest was bombed from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday.
The military drill took place just 24 hours after gunmen stormed the Imo State police command headquarters and the Nigerian Correctional Service in Owerri, the state capital, freeing 1,844 inmates.
President Muhammadu Buhari directed security agencies to completely mobilize and go after gunmen who had been targeting security agencies in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday.
Residents were ordered to stay away from the Ikot Akpan forest, which was accused of being a gunman camp, before the military exercise in Akwa State on Tuesday.
According to residents, the operation started with the use of helicopters and drones for aerial surveillance and bombing until ground troops arrived to root out criminal elements.
Gunmen have been targeting the Essien Udim LGA, where the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, is from, killing cops and damaging their facilities.
In February, hoodlums, many of whom were alleged to be members of a cult, assaulted the police at the Ikpe Annang intersection, setting a police inspector ablaze inside a police truck.
In February, they assaulted the Ikot Afanga group and killed an inspector of police named Aniekan, as well as setting fire to a divisional police station in the LGA. They also set fire to police cars.
Three police officers, including Chief Superintendent of Police Ben Ajide, were killed and four others were reported missing on March 31, 2021, in a failed police retaliation against the hoodlums.
Residents who had not left the city remained inside on Tuesday morning as the military bombed the criminals’ hideouts.
Residents were frightened as fighter jets flew low over the city to ensure adequate surveillance.
In an interview with one of our correspondents, Essien Sunday, a resident of the Essien Udim LGA, reported the bombardment and described it as a terrifying experience.