An unknown driver has reportedly crushed a masquerade in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state.
According to The Sun, the incident occurred along Nwanniba road in the state capital on Thursday.
A witness was quoted to have said a motorist on high speed while trying to avoid another vehicle on the road, rammed into some masqueraders and their troupe along the Nwanniba dual carriage way.
“The ‘Ekpo’ (masquerade) was seen soliciting for cash and gifts from motorists and passersby on the busy road, while wielding a cutlass and a whip,” the witness reportedly said.
According to the account, he was knocked down unexpectedly but did not stand up after some time as expected.
“Most people in Akwa Ibom consider it to be a spirit from the other world and thought it would stand up and continue with his parade. But after most time, it was obvious that he was badly hurt,” the witness said.
“People could not go to help him because ‘Ekpo’ is a dreaded culture. They just stood at a distance to observe him writhe in pains till he died.”
Charles Udoh, the state commissioner for information, was said to have confirmed the incident, saying the appropriate authorities were informed to evacuate the corpse.
“The unfortunate thing is that he was dead before help could come his way,” he said.
“Knowing how people regard Ekpo in our clime… maybe people were just waiting, looking on till he died.”
Elkana Bala, state public relations officer, however refuted the report, saying the Police could not confirm the death which was largely reported on social media.
“We have not received that report,” he said.
“When I saw the report online I asked all the DPOs from that axis and they said they never received such a report.
“If it is not reported, I cannot confirm. Maybe they just went and carried the corpse. My response is, we have not received that report.”