The police in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria’s South-south, have confirmed that three of their officers have been killed, while four are missing in Essien Udim Local Government Area of the state during a violent clash between security operatives and some hoodlums.
The police spokesperson in Akwa Ibom, Odiko MacDon, said in the statement on Tuesday that a police team was in the local government area to maintain peace when it came under attack on Wednesday.
“The Commissioner of Police, Amiengheme Andrew, is deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack on security personnel who were out maintaining the peace yesterday, 30th March, 2021 which led to the demise of CSP Ben Ajide who was the Commander of the Command’s Quick Intervention Unit and two others, while four others are missing,” Mr MacDon, a superintendent of police, said in the statement.
The police spokesperson did not say who was responsible for the attack.
The cause of the attack, he said, was unknown.
“Whereas the remote and immediate causes of these unprovoked attacks are unknown, a discreet investigation is on the way to unravel the same and seek a lasting solution,” he said.
The police commissioner, according to the statement, condoled with the family of the slain officers and assured that those behind the attack would be brought to justice.
He appealed to the public to volunteer useful information that would lead to the arrest of those responsible for the attack.
Essien Udim Local Government Area, which shares a boundary with the neighbouring Abia State, has been notorious for cult-related violence and killings.
About four weeks ago, some gunmen attacked a police station in the area and set fire on parts of the station and some old vehicles which were parked as exhibits in the station’s premises.
The attack was the second on police officers and police facilities in the area in less than one week.
The Akwa Ibom State Government, on March 26, banned the use of motorcycles and tricycles from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. in Essien Udim and two other nearby local government areas, in order to “check criminal activities.”