Gunmen on Sunday morning went on rampage on communities in Imo State by kidnapping two traditional rulers. The gunmen also burnt their palaces and vehicles during the operations.
The affected traditional rulers were Eze Acho Ndukwe of Amagu Ihube and Eze Paul Ogbu of Ihitte Ihube, both in the Okigwe Local Government Area of the state.
The gunmen also kidnapped the youth leader of Umulolo Okigwe whose name had yet to be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.
Apart from kidnapping the traditional rulers and a youth leader, the gunmen also invaded the country home of a community leader in Umulolo-Okigwe, Fabian Nwosu, and vandalised his house.
Community sources said that the operation lasted from 12 midnight to 1am on Sunday.
One of the sources said, “It was something else in the early hours of Sunday. They came in Hilux vehicles and kidnapped the two monarchs and burnt their palaces and vehicles. They also kidnapped the youth leader of Umuololo- Okigwe. They also went to the house of Fabian Nwosu, and on meeting his presence, they vandalised his house.”
“Eze Ndukwe is an influential king. He is the chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers in Okigwe LGA. He is also the chairman and CEO of Genesis Hotel, Okigwe. Nobody can comprehend this attack. The communities are bewildered and highly confused.”
The spokesperson for the police in the state, Micheal Abattam, disclosed that the command had commenced investigation into the incident.
Our correspondent recalls that the traditional ruler of Atta ancient kingdom in the Njaba LGA, Eze Edwin Azike, was kidnapped on Thursday and killed on Friday with his corpse dumped at the market square.
The traditional ruler of Mbutu ancient kingdom, Eze Damian Nwaigwe, was kidnapped on Thursday and released on Saturday.
Also, the traditional ruler of Achi Mbieri, Eze Henry Madumere, was kidnapped on November 19 on the way to a public function at Iho in the Ikeduru LGA.
The octogenarian monarch, who is the father to a former deputy governor of the state, Prince Eze Madumere, was released after six days in his captors’ den.
On October 19, hoodlums invaded Njaba LGA council headquarters at Nnenasa and shot at traditional rulers who were having a stakeholders’ meeting.
While two traditional rulers sustained gunshot injuries and were rushed to a hospital, two other monarchs died on the spot.