The Village Head of Ikot Edet in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Mfon Udoessien, has been kidnapped by gunmen.

Udoessien was said to have been abducted from his palace by the assailants after a fierce gun battle with the security agents drafted to provide security in the volatile area.

The monarch is a brother-in-law to a former Head of Civil Service in Akwa Ibom.

A resident of the area, who is simply identified as Eno, told newsmen that the monarch, a retired primary school headmaster and former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in the area, might have been abducted following his stance on cultism.

According to him, Udoessien has relentlessly been waging war against the activities of gunmen, who have kidnapped no fewer than eight persons in the village.

He said the whereabouts of the monarch is unknown, as the kidnappers are yet to contact the victim’s family.

“We think the kidnappers came after the village head because of how he has been opposing their activities.

“As of now, we don’t know his whereabouts as the kidnappers are yet to contact any members of the monarch’s family,” said the village resident.

Spokesman for the State Police Command, DSP Odiko Macdon, confirmed the kidnap. Macdon said a meeting of local government chairmen and security chiefs in the area had been convened to address the security challenges.

“Security measures are in place; we just concluded a meeting with all the local government chairmen and the security chiefs in the state.That issue came up during the meeting; it is being addressed.

“The monarch’s kidnap happened this morning (yesterday) and our men ran into action immediately. The DPO led a team to the palace.”