Pandemonium was let loose in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River state, Tuesday, when men suspected to be militants, allegedly attacked the Police check point, killed an Inspector and went away with two AK-47 riffles.
The identity of the late Police officer could not be established as at press time. However, an eyewitnesses, who did not want his name mentioned, said the incident happened at a checkpoint between Bakassi and Akpabuyo local government areas, l normally referred to as ‘Welcome to Bakassi,’ as the invaders made away with two AK-47 rifles.
While praying for a peaceful repose of the late officer’s soul, the eyewitness said, “that incident is a very sad one, we have lost a gallant police officer. The man did not know that he will not meet with his family as he left for work. He died a painful death. May God accept his soul.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of Bakassi local government council, Hon Iyadim Amboni Iyadim, lamented that people would have the temerity to take the life of an innocent Police officer without any form of provocation.
He appealed to pockets of militants in the area, who were yet to embrace the State government amnesty programme, to drop their weapons
and embrace peace to help the local government area move forward.
In his words, “Bakassi local government area has a lot of challenges; from refugees and internally displaced persons challenges, infrastructural development and insecurity. Today, I had a security meeting in the council and we resolved to make that particular check point, where the incident happened, a joint checkpoint to be manned by combined forces.
“These forces should include Army, Police, Immigration, Navy, Civil Defence and other security outfits since the Police seem to have no adequate manpower to man the area effectively,” he noted.
The Permanent Secretary in charge of Security in Governor’s office, Dr. Alfred Mboto, who also spoke, confirmed the reports and lamented the level of impunity the attackers displayed.
When asked whether or not the incident could have been linked to the community, Dr Mboto said “It is not the community that shot the policeman. It was the hoodlums who went to the Welcome to Bakassi check point and attacked the Police. They shot one of the Policemen who later died and they took away two AK-47 rifles.
“The hoodlums outnumbered the Police. The dead Policeman was an Inspector and efforts are on top gear to see how the Police can recover the guns,” he said.
It would be recalled that Governor Ben Ayade had, in December 2018, granted amnesty to hundreds of Bakassi Strike Force Militants. The group was then led by one Benjamin Ene, alias ‘G1’who was thereafter appointed Special Adviser for Maritime Security.
From Friday Nwagbara, Calabar