Militants sack Customs base in Akwa Ibom, steal 10 rifles

Heavily armed men suspected to be Niger Delta militants on Monday invaded the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Base in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, killing an officer and carting away 10 rifles.

The Police and residents of the area who confirmed the incident, said the gunmen attacked the base at about 9pm.

The Nigerian Customs Marine Base is located at Esin Ufot, a fishing community in Oron Local Government Area.

A source said the area has come under consistent attacks by the hoodlums.

“The so-called militants attacked the Nigerian Customs Marine office in Oron and killed one officer, injured another and went away with 10 rifles,” the source said.

Another source lamented that the militants were becoming more daring by the day and have been wreaking havoc in many communities in the riverine area.

According to him, the militants have raided the police station, the Nigerian Immigrations Service (NIS) barracks and key fishing settlements in the area.

“The situation is becoming very critical nowadays as the militants now attack security operatives and local fishermen alike.

“The other day, they ransacked a police station and later they attacked an Immigrations Base.

“From Oron waterway to Uta Ewa in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, the militants have been robbing and killing people almost on a daily basis.

“The last time it happened here in Oron, they invaded and overpowered the Marine Police and carted away their arms while the policemen fled for their lives,” he added.

The source insisted that the militants were better armed than operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Immigrations Service.

Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Gabriel Achong, confirmed the attack.

“Yes, it is true that militants attacked the Marine Base of the Nigeria Customs Service in Oron yesterday (Monday).

“It is also true that one Customs officer was killed and 10 rifles taken away by the militants,” Achong said.

He said the Monday attack was an isolated case, denying there had been repeated attacks in the area.

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