Deadly 'Akwa Marine' Cult Group Attacks Akwa Ibom Community Leaving Two People Dead (Photo)

Many people have been killed and several others injured after a deadly cult group invaded a community in Akwa Ibom state. 
A cultist murdered in Nigeria (File photo)
 
Members of Midim Atan community in Akwa Ibom have fled their homes after repeated attacks by a suspected cult group called 'Akwa Marine'. The cultists have been unleashing deadly attacks on the community for some time now.
 
Residents of Midim Atan village in Essien Udim local government area of the state said at least two people have so far been killed and many more injured in attacks by a group known as Akwa Marine, according to Premium Times.
 
“Akwa Marine led by Emmanuel Ben has been disturbing our community for many years. The problem is not just the cultists but the people sponsoring them and that is why it has been difficult to clamp them down,” said a local chief, Efene Jeremiah.
 
The unrest has lasted years, and police have made limited success against the group despite an investigation by a team set up by the former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to probe its activities. The divisional police officer for Essien Udim, Alhassan Guda, said he was new at the post and could not comment on the activities of the gang.
 
Speaking on the incident, spokesperson for the police’s Criminal Investigation Department, Chike Nwabuwa, revealed that an investigation team had long been set up by Mr. Arase, to monitor and investigate the activities of the gang following several complaints. He declined to disclose the findings of the panel.
 
Members of Midim Atan community in Akwa Ibom, who recently travelled to Abuja to protest against incessant attacks by a group called Akwa Marine revealed that the group was set up ahead of the 2011 elections to go after perceived opponents of top politicians from the area, including former Governor Godswill Akpabio, whom they accuse of providing support for the group.
 
Mr. Akpabio denies the allegation.
 
Speaking on the matter, his spokesperson, Anietie Ekong said that the former governor, who is now the Senate minority leader, would not sponsor a criminal gang.

“It is pure political mischief to link the distinguished Senator to a criminal gang,” Mr. Ekong said.
 
He said several petitions sent by community members to different law enforcement agencies, linking Mr. Akpabio to the group, were “politically motivated”.

“Any criminal who has been apprehended by the security agencies should be made to face the consequences of his action,” Mr. Ekong said, referring to the recent arrest of Mr. Ben.


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