The Village Head of Ikot Anta Eneng Obom in Ukanafun Local Government of Akwa Ibom, Chief Emmanuel Jim Umahaeyo has been killed by unknown gunmen suspected to be hired assassins.
Chief Umahaeyo, who was shot twice in his compound Tuesday evening by two unknown gunmen riding on a motor cycle, died on the spot.
Though the suspected assassins have not been apprehended, the death of the royal father may not be unconnected with an altercation he had with a faction of youth leaders in the village.
The late village head who assumed leadership in December 2010 was said to be having a running battle with a deposed youth leader in the village, one Eyak Umoekpo by ensuring the emergence of Esitime Emmanson as the new youth leader.
It was allegedly reported that the Village Head was uncomfortable with the leadership of Eyak Umoekpo, said to be running a parallel government by frequently harvesting and using proceeds of the palm fruits belonging to the village for themselves without recourse to the village council. Peeved by this effrontery, the departed village head had to dissolve the factional youth leadership to pave way for a new one, an action that angered the sponsor of the factional youth leader, one Joe Akpandak to pitch a tent against the village council.
It is said that a member of the deposed Umoekpo last year shot a woman in the village over argument and it was the village head who took the woman for treatment, an action the rampaging factional youths saw as an affront against them and this later resulted in a court action between some of the youths and the village head.
An eye witness who wants to remain anonymous reported that the two unknown gunmen who headed to Nkek Urua Akpan Udosen, a neighbouring village shot and killed two unidentified persons at the border thinking that they were indigenes of Ikot Anta in an attempt to cover up their horrendous crime.
Meanwhile, the remains of the departed Village Head had been deposited in a mortuary home in Ukanafun, the village deserted for fear of incessant arrest by the police while the murder had been lodged with the Divisional Police Office in Ikot Akpa Nkuk, headquarters of Ukanafun Local Government Area.
Our reporter, who made frantic moves could not reach the Divisional Police Officer in the area for confirmation.