Thousands of residents of Inen community, OrukAnam local government area of Akwa Ibom State have abandoned their homes due to incessant killings by rampaging cult groups.
The unabated clash has led to many residents taking refuge in neighbouring towns like Port Harcourt and villages while scores are receiving treatment in various hospitals in the state.
Reports say over 60 lives have been lost so far in Inen village since the supremacy war between Iceland and Dbam confraternities started over 8 months ago.
A resident, Mr. Victor Johnny who spoke with newsmen said the hostilities perpetrated by hoodlums have crippled both social and religious activities in the area.
He said, “Last Sunday no Church in the community held their worship service after an Elder was shot in the church vestry during prayers. All the churches closed down and members attended service in neighbouring villages.”
“The worst of it all is that all the schools both primary and secondary in the area have not resumed as teachers and pupils could not return for fear of hoodlums who may cause havoc at anytime.”
Narrating his personal experience, another resident Mr. Friday Emmah; a poultry farmer now taking refuge in Port Harcourt told our Correspondent how he escaped death by the whiskers in the hands of the cultists.
Emmah said the cultists first invaded his poultry and removed 200 chickens at different occasions out of 600 birds leaving only 400 in the farm and later broke windscreen of his car.
Mrs. Iniobong, wife of one of the victims who was shot in the church vestry during early morning prayers last Sunday, said her husband survived by God’s mercy after surgeries on the head to extract bullets.
Another victim, a retired police Inspector, Mr. Okon Josiah Udoh, is now taking treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Uyo for injuries he sustained when cultists attempted to kill him in the area.
An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity said the case of the retired police officer was very pathetic given his health conditions before he was attacked by the hoodlums.
He said the police officer had relocated to the community and was bedridden with stroke at the time when the blood thirsty cultists started killings in the village.
He explained that the retired officer penetrated the cult groups for three weeks begging them to stop further killings but instead of them to obliged to the pleas, they resorted to attack giving him machete cuts.