A’ Ibom Monarch in police custody for allegedly killing herdsmen’s cows

By Isaac Job

Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested the Village Head of Ikot Akpan in OrukAnam Local Government Area of the State, Chief Friday Benson Udo Ekpo, for intercepting herdsmen who use their farms for grazing and destroyed crops in the community.

Our correspondent gathered that youths in Ikot Akpan village chased herdsmen away from their community who were destroying their farm crops by using their cows to feed on their farms.

Speaking to our correspondent in Uyo, on Thursday, the Youth Leader of the community, Aniefiok Amos, said the herdsmen invaded their community on Tuesday with their cows, destroying cassava, yams and other valuable farms crops before the youths pursued them out to Isama village, another community in the area.

Continuing, the youth leader said when they sighted the cows destroying farm crops, the youths mobilized themselves and chased them away to another village in Isama.

“On Tuesday, we saw herds of cows that swoop into our farms in the Ikot Akpan village destroying our crops. All we did was pursue them and they ran to a neighbouring village where we left them.

“What happened to the cows in another village we don’t know. We have to protect our crops against devourers.

“We were surprised as police arrested our respected Village Head Chief Friday Benson Udo Ekpo for an offence he never committed. We learnt that other persons have been arrested in the village.”

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Another youth activist in the community, Aniekerente Abasi Akpakpan, said the village head was wrongly arrested by the police and called for a thorough investigation into the matter and urged the police to release him unconditionally.

“We want the police to release our village head first and continue with their investigation,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer in Akwa Ibom State, SP Odiko Mcdon, has confirmed the incident and disclosed that some persons have been arrested in connection with the matter.

“We have received such reports that some cows were slaughtered in the community. Cow meats were found in some homes in the village.

“Some persons have been arrested. I don’t know whether the Village Head is one of them. We also received report that one person is missing. That is why police swung into action and arrested the people in our custody.

He said the Commisioner of Police, Olatayo Durosinmi, ordered an investigation into the matter to ensure justice is done.

“We have commenced preliminary investigation into the incident to ascertain all the allegations,” he added.

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