A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Otu Inyang has been shot dead by gunmen in the Eket Local Government Area of the state.
Inyang was trailed and assassinated a few minutes into the New Year while on his way home after he attended the Crossover night at Qua Iboe Church, Ikot Udoma Village Eket.
Our source gathered that the late Inyang, who said the closing prayers to end the Crossover night church service, was a few metres to his residence when he was shot several times on his head.
Other church worshippers going home after the service did not suspect that the sound they had were those of gunshots as there were several sounds from knockout thrown by excited youths to herald the New Year.
It was not immediately ascertained the reason the APC chieftain was assassinated but some sources told our correspondent that the deceased was involved in a land dispute.
Police spokesperson, Odiko MacDon said the police are not aware of the incident.
Saddened by the tragic incident, the President of Ekid Peoples Union, Dr Samuel Udonsek described the deceased as a formidable politician and community leader.
His words: “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 Otuinyang very well, back in our days of ANPP 2000- 2003 when he helped us build a formidable opposition party. The 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.
“I pray God’s comfort on his dear family and loved ones whose happy new year’s day has been blackened by this unfortunate and brutal event.”