Several armed hoodlums on motorcycles were said to have breached the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed by the state government on Essien Udim and other adjoining local government areas of Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency, to launch the mayhem early Sunday morning at about 3 a.m.
Straightnews also gathered that the hoodlums launched another ferocious attack on herdsmen leading to killing no fewer than 12 cows grazing near a stream.
It was further gathered that as soon as the hoodlums shot dead the cows, they fled the scene to an unknown destination forcing the herdsmen to have fled too and alerted the security agencies.
A source that did not want his name in print said some locals went to the scene of the incident to harvest on the dead cows not knowing that the herdsmen had alerted the 6 Battalion, Ibagwa in Abak Local Government Area.
”The soldiers who arrived in their numbers were said to have arrested and taken them away to answer for the death of cows,” the source told Straightnews.
Confirming the arson on INEC Office, Essien Udim, Mr. Don Etukudoh, the Director in-charge of Public Affairs at Akwa Ibom State headquarters of INEC, said he was yet to establish the motive of the arsonists who attacked the Essien Udim Office.
“Yes, I can confirm to you that our office in Essien Udim has been burnt down. We are yet to get details”, he said, assuring that he would be in a better position to give details of the development when properly briefed.
In the same vein, Mr. Anthony Luke, the Chairman of Essien Udim Local Government Area, described the incident as unfortunate, giving the fact the local government area has in the recent times become an epicentre of cults war with security agencies including the Police, Customs and Army as well as government institutions targeted as objects of attack.
A military operation including land and aerial bombardments were launched against the hoodlums last month in their base in Ntak Ikot Akpan in Essien Udim, and Luke believes the remnants who fled the operation have regrouped to continue the mayhem.