THREE police officers including a chief superintendent of police identified as Ben Ajide have been reported to have lost their lives during the recent shootout between Nigerian security forces and the armed wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) in Akwa Ibom State.
In the first such incident of its kinds, members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), Ipob’s armed wing, were reported to have been involved in a gun battle with the police at Ikot Akpan community in the Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Following the bloody battle which took place on Monday, three policemen have been confirmed dead, while four others have been declared missing.
Apparently, the affected personnel reportedly lost their lives when the police launched a reprisal raid against the ESN gunmen. They are alleged to have masterminded a series of coordinated attacks against police formations in Akwa Ibom, which had resorted to the killing of several officers.
Police spokesman Odiko Macdon, said: “In recent times, in Essien Udim Local Government Area, security personnel, particularly, the Nigeria Police Force, Akwa Ibom State Command, have come under persistent, unprovoked attacks, leading to deaths and destruction of property, a trend which is totally absurd and unacceptable. Whereas the remote and immediate causes of these unprovoked attacks are unknown, a discreet investigation is on the way to unravel same and seek lasting solution.
“The Akwa Ibom State commissioner of police is deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack on security personnel who were out maintaining the peace yesterday, March 30, 2021.l This attack led to the demise of Chief Superintendant of Police Ben Ajide who was the commander of the Command’s Quick Intervention Unit, along with two others, while four other policemen are missing.”
He called on members of the public to volunteer useful information to the police assuring them of the confidentiality of such information. Ipob is yet to accept responsibility for the attack .