An All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain, Mr Otu Inyang, has been shot dead by unknown gunmen in Ikot Udoma village in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, shortly after the Crossover service heralding the new year.
It was gathered that the victim was trailed and shot dead a few minutes into the new year while on his way home after attending the Crossover service at Qua Iboe Church, Ikot Udoma village, Eket.
It was learnt that the deceased said the closing prayers in the Church to end the Crossover service, and was a few metres to his residence when he was waylaid and shot severally on his head.
Some unsuspecting worshippers returning home after the service said they did not know that the sound they had were that of gunshots as many sounds from fireworks thrown by excited youths to herald the new year rented the air.
Unconfirmed sources alleged that the deceased was involved in a land dispute, however, the President of Ekid Peoples Union and a former governorship candidate on the platform of defunct All Nigeria People Party (ANPP), Dr Samuel Udonsek, described the deceased as a formidable politician and community leader.
He said, “I received this news with great discomfort and sadness. I must say that this model of conflict resolution is uncommon in Ekid land.
“I knew Elder Otu Inyang very well, back in our days of ANPP, 2000 – 2003 when he helped us build a formidable opposition party.
“Late Prof Etuk Nssien Etuk, of blessed memory, regarded him rightly then, as a formidable pillar of his strong and resilient political empire and structure.
“When we attended his thanksgiving service after his retirement, I got to know first hand, how devoted he was to his native Ikot Udoma and the Qua Iboe Church. And, also how his people regarded and respected him.
“On assuming the leadership of the Ekid People’s Union, we noted that his APC members were a bit distant from the Union, so he was one of those we consulted on how to make the Union more inclusive for all, irrespective of political party affiliations. Sadly, he has died before this crucial task has been accomplished.
“For me, and indeed the generality of the remnants of our old ANPP structure, a great friend and loyalist has departed.
“May God in his infinite mercies forgive whatever his human frailties were and accept his soul to eternal rest in paradise,” he stated.
Confirming the incident, Police Public Relations Officer in the state command, SP Odiko Macdon, described the occurrence as unfortunate and vowed to investigate and bring the culprits to book.
Mcdon said the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, had ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police to carry out a discreet investigation on the matter.
“Yes, it is true that the man was shot dead on his way back home after the Crossover service in his church.
“The son reported to the police the following morning that the father and his mother were returning from church on 31st December and was attacked by two heavy gunmen who shot the father in the head before he died.
“The Commissioner of Police, Amiengheme Andrew, has ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book,” he stated.