NIGERIAN Army has pledged to support police to curb criminal activities in Akwa Ibom State, even as the residents of the state and the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, have expressed worry at the high rates of killings, kidnappings and cultism in the state. The commander, 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen Ibrahim Abdu Hassan, who made the pledge when he paid a courtesy visit on the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Don Awunah, assured the readiness of the brigade to collaborate with the police in the fight against crime and criminality in the state. In his response, CP Awunah assured the commander that police, as a lead agency in internal security, would always partner with Nigerian Army to achieve national growth in the area of law enforcement and crime prevention. Awunah further assured members of the public that the command had put in place a well intelligence team and also activated all the tactical teams in effort to reduce crime in the state, and therefore implored law-abiding citizens to cooperate with the police and provide necessary information. Meanwhile, widespread anxiety has taken hold of Akwa Ibom following serial cases of killings, kidnappings and cult-related violence that have claimed no fewer than 40 lives across the state in the last couple of months. Just last week, two Turkish nationals working for a construction firm in Onna Local Government Area were seized in their hotel rooms in Eket Local Government Area while Dr. Idongesit Udom, former ExxonMobil staff and the proprietor of Sure Foundation Polytechnic, SFP, was also abducted in his Ukanafun country home. On Easter Sunday, the secretary of Ukanafun Local Government Area, Hon. Ime Atakpa and his personal aide, popularly called ‘Warrior,’ were killed in Ukanafun by four armed masked men. The latest of cult and political related violence have been in Etim Ekpo Local Government where scores of youths have been killed in recent times. Speaking yesterday, a community leader in the area, Chief Mfon Ikoh told journalists that “from the report I gathered, over 35 young men have been killed in cult-related clashes in Etim Ekpo Ward 8 alone. I have been preaching that these young people should be supported to be educated. Any young man without proper education is bound to take any irrational decision concerning his life,” calling on security agencies to do more in the area of effective policing in the affected areas. The state chairman of the CLOs, Clifford Thomas said in Uyo yesterday that “lives have become so cheap to be snuffed out easily by hoodlums,” and charged government, security agencies and the public to collaborate in order to stem the scourge. Meanwhile, the police have intensified search for the abducted Turkish construction workers and the polytechnic owner who were seized a week ago by armed hoodlums. The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Chukwu Ikechukwu gave the revelation yesterday that a crack team comprising the police and other security agencies were working round the clock to secure the release of the expatriates and former Mobil worker. “We are on the ground, all I can tell you is that the Police have intensified efforts to ensure safe release of the victims and arrest of the suspects,” he assured.