By Idorenyin Aquaisua, Uyo.
The Thursday evening’s looting of valuable properties and burning down of vehicles and a building at the corporate office of Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Cooperation, AKBC, along Udo Udoma Avenue in Uyo by persons masquerading as #EndSARS protesters have been described as bare acts of criminality and attack on freedom of expression, free press and democracy. The Director General of the State owned radio and TV outfits, Anietie Ukpe who expressed these views, today, in a Chat with 9NewsNigeria Correspondent at the scene of the destroyed property said he has no idea why AKBC was attacked noting that the intelligence community would have to find out the reasons for the dastardly act. Recounting what happened during the attack he said, “As far as we’re concerned, some thieves and armed robbers hoodlums invaded our premises and stole our properties, burnt our vehicles and burnt down the building. They brought down our electronic devices and catted them away. We want to believe these we’re the work of thieves and arsonists. We thank His Excellency, the Governor for the prompt response we had, the security agencies and the Fire Service who came and contained the situation before it got worse. Nobody was injured, no life was lost. Our staff saw them coming and locked the gate but they came with axes and petrol and destroyed the gate, broke into the offices, carted away our properties before setting four vehicles and the building ablaze. We cannot estimate the value of what has been damaged now. But we want to stress that this attack on AKBC has nothing to do with the #EndSARS protests. If #EndSARS is about protesting criminal activities in the Police, why use the protests to commit crime?” Ukpe queried and charged the relevant security agencies to fish out the criminals and bring them to justice. Meanwhile, with the initial15 hours curfew announced by the state government which has been extended till 7am on Saturday, October 24′ 2020, normalcy has returned and security personnel have taken over major streets and strategic location in Uyo to enforce compliance. A detachment of heavily armed security personnel was seen matching along major roads in the state capital in what looked like a show of force. At the time of this report, those encountered were civil in their approach save a team of Army Officers stationed at the Udo Udoma Avenue by Aka Road roundabout who were adamant in denying access to persons on essential services even when presented with proper means of identification.