By Emmanuel Iheaka, Owerri
Gunmen on Sunday, abducted two traditional rulers in Imo State and set their palaces ablaze.
They are Eze Acho Ndukwe of Amagu Ihube and Eze Paul Ogbu of Ihitte Ihube, both in Okigwe Local Government Area of the state.
The gunmen also seized the youth leader of Umulolo Okigwe whose name was not ascertained as at press time and vandalized the house of another community leader, Fabian Nwosu.
Eze Ndukwe is said to be the Chairman of Council of Traditional Rulers, Okigwe Local Government Area.
A source said the gunmen came in Hilux vans.
“They came in Hilux vehicles and kidnapped the two monarchs and burnt their palaces and vehicles. The youth leader of Umulolo- Okigwe was also abducted. They also destroyed the house of Fabian Nwosu, a community leader.
“Eze Ndukwe is the Chairman of Council of Traditional Rulers in Okigwe LGA. He is also the CEO of Genesis Hotel, Okigwe. We are just confused as to what could be the reason for the attack”, the source stated.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Micheal Abattam, said the command had commenced investigation into the incident.
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The latest incident brought to four the total number of monarchs abducted in Imo in the last one week.
The other two are the traditional ruler of Atta ancient kingdom in Njaba LGA, Eze Edwin Azike and that of Mbutu ancient kingdom, Eze Damian Nwaigwe,
Both were abducted on Thursday last week.
While Azike was killed and his corpse dumped at the market square a day after, Nwaigwe was lucky to have regained his freedom after spending two days in the kidnappers’ den.
It could also be recalled that the traditional ruler of Achi Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state, Eze Henry Madumere, was kidnapped on November 19, while heading to a public function.
The monarch, who is the father of a former deputy governor of the state, Eze Madumere, was released after six days.
On October 19, gunmen also stormed Njaba council headquarters at Nnenasa and opened fire on traditional rulers in a stakeholders meeting, killing two, while others sustained injuries.