Uyo — Worried by the activities of militant groups indulging in killings, kidnappings, armed robbery and other violent crimes in parts of Akwa Ibom State, the police command headquarters has released a list of no fewer than 59 suspects alleged to be ring leaders and sponsors of insecurity in the state.
This followed persistent crises of insecurity in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government Areas in which four Church leaders and one official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were kidnapped for ransom last week in Uruk Ata 2 community.
Also, the hoodlums torched seven houses and killed eight people suspected to be Police informants and abducted two female University students of Obong University, a private institution at Obong Ntak village in Etim Ekpo local government area.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday (Sunday), the commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, confirmed the release of the abducted Obong University girls, adding that "others are still yet to be freed" as manhunt continues to free them from their abductors.
According to him, "the listed suspects are still within the crises areas", but lamented that "difficult terrain and equipment have been hampering our operations".
He explained that collaborative security operations comprising the police, navy and other security agencies working with local communities have been intensified in the last one week to ensure the criminals and their sponsors were dislodged and freed the areas of militants' activities.
"Even the Blue River at Azumini that they (the criminals) always use to migrate into Abia, Rivers and other neighbouring states after operations is even too shallow for navy boats", he explained and urged the locals to partner security agencies by volunteering information on how to track down the criminals.