Residents of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, have decried the reemergence of criminal activities in the state. This follows the recent constant harassment of residents in some parts of the state. In Itam, near the city centre, for instance, residents have reported activities of a group of men numbering over 40 who stormed market stalls last weekend and allegedly carted away over 100 bags of rice and other valuable items belonging to traders in the market. At Udoumanna, the hoodlums, numbering over 20, allegedly struck at the Akpanandem market area on Sunday night, scaring residents with gunshots, while they operated from house to house.
Residents of Asutan Street, the host area of the state Correspondents Chapel Office, were last Wednesday awoken to a chemist shop emptied overnight by hoodlums who defied the heavy presence of vigilantes in the area. Residents of Effiat Offort, Uyo, also had their share when a group of young men embarked on a houseto- house raid in the area. This team or criminals, according to residents of the area, vandalised vehicles, removed car batteries and other valuable parts. At Atan Offort, a security man, who craved anonymity, told journalists that a vigilante was killed for attempting to challenge the hoodlums.
The security man attributed the incessant molestation of residents to lack of surveillance on the part of the police and called on the new Commissioner of Police, Amiengheme Andrew, to beef up security patrol in the state, especially at night to checkmate criminal activities. Mr. Umoh Etim, a resident of Udoette Street, called for restoration of street lights in all parts of the capital city. Such steps, he believed, would curtail ongoing nefarious activities of hoodlums. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP N-Nudam Frederick, said he was not aware of such issues as such complaints were not reported to the police. He, however, promised to contact the DPOs of the affected areas to confirm such issues and take steps to ensure protection of lives and property of residents.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Aniekan Bassey, has pledged to partner the state Police Command, to combat crime and insecurity in the state. Bassey made the pledge when he, alongside the leadership of the House, received the Police Commissioner, Andrew, and his team at the Assembly Complex, Uyo.