The wake of a supremacy battle between two rival cult groups has claimed no fewer than two persons at Udianga Enem community in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area (LGA) of Akwa Ibom state.
According to Blueprint, the village head, Josiah Udoekoriko, of the community fled his palace on Monday due to fierce war between members of Iceland confraternity and Debam group.
Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun LGAs of the state have remained dark spot areas resulting from an intense cult war that had swallowed many lives and property in the last four years.
Governor Udom Emmanuel at a point granted amnesty to the cult groups for peace to reign in the areas.
The latest incident occurred on Monday when suspected members of Iceland confraternity, led by one Oto, from Obon Ebot, stormed the Udianga Enem community allegedly to retrieve items seized by Debam confraternity in the nearby community of Obong Ntak.
A community source who pleaded anonymity said the invaders came in to negotiate peacefully with the Debam group led by Samuel Okonko popularly called ‘Angel Boy,’ but that, along the line, negotiations broke down.
“Suspected members of the Iceland group came for a truce with the other group, Debam, which is led by Samuel Jessy Okonko, popularly called ‘Angel Boy,’ to recover those properties through peaceful negotiation.
“Unfortunately, there was a disagreement leading to the death of one person, while others fled,” the source said, adding that the resurgence of gun violence has forced people to abandon their farms.
According to the source, one other person had also been murdered over the issue at Obong Ntak community during the looting.
“We could not report the matter to the Police at the Area Command because the Village Head who would have coordinated the process has fled his palace,” the source added.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the incident, assured that “full-scale investigation will begin as soon as the Etim Ekpo Area Command gives details.”