Attempts by unknown gunmen to attack the Ukana, Essien Udim Local Government Area residence of the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, Senator Godswill Akpabio yesterday night was repelled by policemen attached to the former Senate Minority Leader.
Eye witness account said the Senator was holding political meetings on Tuesday night at his country home when unknown gunmen numbering about 10 stormed his residence and shot sporadically causing a stampede.
According to our source, the incident brought the meeting into a temporary halt as those present in the meeting scampered for safety while the shooting continued unabated.
A retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Udom Ekpoudom who was also present at the political meeting at the time of the incident was seen making frantic calls for security beef up to help repel the attack.
However, security men attached to the resident after recovering from the initial shock were said to have responded gallantly with superior firepower which forced a retreat from the invading attackers.
According to Mr Raymond Inim who witnessed the incident, “we were holding a meeting with our leader, Senator Akpabio when suddenly people who were not part of the meeting ran into the Senator’s banquet hall where the meeting was held.
“The Senator inquired to know the cause of the commotion and before someone could explain, sounds of sporadic gunshots rented the air. It lasted for a while before the situation was brought under control and we had to end the meeting abruptly,” he said.
It was not immediately clear what the motives of the attackers were but eye witnesses said the gestapo manner the gunmen struck and disappeared called for security beef up around the former Senate Minority Leader who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Media aide to Senator Akpabio, Mr Anietie Ekong confirmed the incident and said the matter has been reported to security agencies in the state.
According to him “Unknown gunmen are presently shooting Sporadic shooting by unknown gunmen at the Ukana Ikot Ntuen, Essien Udom LGA. country home of the former Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Divisional Police Officer and Commissioner of Police should intervene.
However, an indigene of the area Mr mfonobong Ukpong who spoke with our correspondent described the incident as an armed robbery attack on a filling station within the vinicity of the senators home.
According to him, “Armed robbers numbering about 4 stormed the filling station shooting sporadically with the intention to rob the place before they repealed by men of the police force stationed near the senators home “.
No official statement has emanated from the state police command while efforts to speak with the command spokesman Mr Mac Don odeche failed after several calls on his phone.