It was a chilling tale of a miraculous escape by a police cop Odiko Mcdon as he wriggled out from the camp of bloodthirsty cultists who sieged Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas for two years killing and terrorizing the area while residents fled.
Odiko Mcdon was the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the Etim Ekpo when the cultists held the area to ransom scaring residents and security operatives who dared to stop them in their nefarious activities.
Mcdon while narrating the sad experience to members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Akwa Ibom state council during his Easter visit to the Union along Asutan St, Uyo said “It was only God who rescued me, though one of the policemen was down”
The cultists after laying siege to the entire community took over the popular Obo Annang market collecting tolls and other revenues sent away the local administration in the area and enthroned a parallel government raising revenues to buy weapons in prosecuting their evil agenda.
The Chairman of the council then Hon Udeme Eduo who was supposed to work with Mcdon to prevent the impending anarchy had relocated to Uyo leaving Mcdon to his fate.
“The first thing I did was to devise a means to cut off their revenue base by arresting all the cultists who were collecting market toll which runs into thousands of naira which they used to buy weapons.
“We arrived the market very early and took strategic positions waiting for them to come. As soon as the gang leader arrived for the business of the day, I personally held him by his waist, lift him up and immediately a clean locally made gun fell from his pocket and picked it up. He was disarmed while my men pursued the rest.
“From that day, they knew that it was no more a tea party for them. But they regrouped. This time they sent a message to me begging me with a huge amount of money but I rejected the money insisting that they must repent or face the law
“On this fateful day, I arrested one of them with a gun, put him in our van while looking for others. Surprisingly, before we drove out from Iwukem junction and entered one of the village roads to Udiang Anem, the cultists regrouped and barricaded the road blocking us and prepared to rescue their gang member from us”
“This is where we met face to face with the daredevil cultists as they opened fire on the police team which I was the leader”.
“At this point, there were sporadic shootings. I mean exchange of fire between our men and the cultists frontally. But it was God that helped us”.
Mcdon said the cultists came out with pump action guns and charms making incantations while releasing bullets on my men.
However, he said his team never stood and watch them but counter them with superior Ak47 rifles.
“The cultists made a dramatic movement by retreading their steps walking backwards without turning back and running away.
“We learnt their herbalist instructed them never to turn back but move backwards while escaping from any danger.”
Mcdon disclosed that one of them who was holding a pump action gun was severely hit by police bullet because the bullet never penetrated their body as we were shooting them.
“When we discovered that the bullet didn’t enter their body we concentrated on them till they were overpowered.
“The one with pump action gun fell and screamed as the rest ran into the bush. First, we removed his charm, bundled him into a waiting van straight to the police headquarters in Uyo”.
While appreciating Governor Udom Emmanuel for helping the police in fighting cultism and terrorism in the state, Mcdon observed that they were saboteurs among the police force who were leaking information to the gangsters.
He said such dubious policemen were contained and shown the way to go.
He further appreciated Udom for granting the hoodlums amnesty which contributed to the peaceful deposition of the state in recent times.
“Akwa Ibom state government has done well to check the upsurge in cultism in many parts of the state through amnesty.
“Crime can not be wiped out but the government has devised means to check it. Otherwise, the state would have been something else.”
He urged the state government to be more proactive in the amnesty deal to keep the devil at bay.
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