By Tony Edike
ENUGU – The police in Enugu state have arrested 20 suspects in connection with the murder of the traditional ruler of Umuode Community in Nkanu East local government area of the State, Igwe Moses, even as tension has gripped Umuode and Oruku communities.
Ugwu was reportedly shot dead by two young men who stormed his shop at Akpoga Nike at about 7.30pm Tuesday.
The gunmen were said to have shot at him several times and left him in a pool of his own blood, and escaped immediately without removing anything from the shop.
The royal father who was popularly called Ode 1 of Umuode, had occupied the chieftaincy stool for over 10 years.
Sources said he was rushed to the Annunciation Hospital, Emene, Enugu by some of his relations who rushed from his community after they were alerted of the incident, but he was only confirmed dead by the doctors on duty. His body has been deposited at the hospital’s morgue.
Igwe Ugwu’s Umuode community from where the immediate past Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji hails, had been at war with their Oruku neighbours since the past eight years.
The two communities engaged in random shooting of guns recently apparently to signal another round of hostility but security operatives deployed to the area later calmed the tension.
Following the assassination, tension has heightened among natives of Umuode community in Nkanu East local government area of Enugu State, following the assassination of their traditional ruler, Igwe Moses Ugwu Tuesday night.
Their Oruku neighbours were also said to be apprehensive and vigilant to ensure that the death of the royal father did not lead to another round of hostility between them and Umuode natives, who had been locked in a communal feud for over 20 years.
Enugu State Police command said over 20 persons had been arrested, while investigations had commenced to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of the monarch. The police raided Akpoga Nike where the incident occurred as well as Onuogba Nike, a neighbouring community where the suspects were arrested for questioning.