From INI FRIDAY, Uyo
Ten gunmen suspected to be cultists on Sunday invaded a church in Inen Ikot Esse village, Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and shot one of the members in the head.
It was learnt that the gunmen stormed the church premises at about 7:05 am and went straight to the vestry where church officers were praying before the commencement of the service, and shot their victim.
An eyewitness, Mr. Sunday Ibanga, told AbeyaNews yesterday in Uyo that the victim, Elder Friday Ufenang, the secretary of his Church (name withheld) who was shot during the attack, is in a critical condition in the hospital.
Ibanga stated that the assailants accosted the Elder whom they shot several times in the head and left him to die.
He said the shooting forced other members of the church to scamper for safety, while some had to lie low as the assailants continued to shoot.
He added that the new pastor posted to the church to assume duty that Sunday was the one who evacuated the victim to the hospital for treatment.
At the hospital, the victim’s wife, Mrs. Iniobong Ufenang said the victim left for church early in the morning to attend to his duties, and left her and the children at home.
She said while preparing to join her husband in the church, she heard screams outside their compound from people who informed her that her husband had been shot.
She said the incident occurred during a negotiation between Debam and Iceland rival cult confraternities to end protracted hostilities that have disrupted normal activities in the community.
“When I heard that my husband has been shot, I summed up courage and rushed to the church to carry the corpse for burial. There, I met some policemen who helped me to carry my husband to the hospital for first aid before the main treatment began.
“Since yesterday, my husband has been breathing through oxygen here in the emergency ward. We need money to pay for various tests before surgery to remove the bullets in his head.
“One volunteer told me that he had visited the camp of the two cult groups and they all denied their roles in the incident. So, I don’t know where the gunmen came from to shoot my husband,” she stated.
Police Public Relations Officer I Akwa Ibom State, SP Odiko Mcdon confirmed the incident, saying the perpetrators of the crime would soon be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.
“I can confirm the incident in Inen Ikot Esse, Oruk Anam local government area. It is unfortunate that such incident happened in the church premises. When it happened, it was the police that rushed the victim to hospital for treatment.
“The Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme condemns the dastardly act and he has resolved to stem the tide of cultism in whatever form.
“However, deep investigation is ongoing to ensure that the perpetrators of such dastardly act face the wrath of the law. I assure you that they would be brought to book in no distant time,” he said.