•Abduct another Anambra politician, shoot his only son
•House of Assembly says death heartbreaking
•IPOB’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor condemns beheading
•Gunmen allegedly set up camp in Anambra community
•Kumuyi cancels South-East crusade, cites security challenges
•Cannibals ‘ve infiltrated Igboland — COSEYL
By Vincent Ujumadu & Steve Oko
Gunmen have beheaded Okechukwu Okoye, the lawmaker representing Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly.
The lawmaker and his aide, Cyril Chiegboka were kidnapped last Sunday, along Aguluzigbo road, Anaocha Local Government Area of the state. He represented Aguata 2 Constituency in Anambra State.
Eyewitnesses said that Okoye’s head was dumped at Chisco park in Amichi, Nnewi South Local Government Area on Saturday, six days after he was abducted.
Police Public Relations Officer, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident on Saturday night.
Reacting to the murder, Governor Charles Soludo condemned the gruesome killing of the lawmaker and commiserated with his family on the loss.
Soludo in a statement by his media aide, Christian Aburime, described the lawmaker’s killing as heartless and barbaric, saying he received the news with rude shock and deep sadness.
According to him, it is probably the same criminal gang that attacked him and killed three policemen at Isuofia two years ago that is once again on the prowl.
The governor also reassured the people of Anambra State of his administration’s resolve and renewed determination with the security agencies to go all out against the criminals and ensure they are brought to justice.
This is even as he placed a N10m reward for anyone or group that will avail valuable information that will lead to the immediate arrest of the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
“Soludo condoles with his kinsmen of Isuofia, noting that it is probably the same criminal gang that attacked him and killed three policemen at Isuofia two years ago that are once again on the prowl. But they can never cow down Isuofia and Anambra State,” the statement read.
“The governor is still in shock over the barbaric acts against his two kinsmen, vowing that the perpetrators, as well as all criminals operating in Anambra must be decisively brought to book.
“Governor Soludo has consequently placed N10m reward for anyone or group that will avail valuable information that will lead to the immediate arrest of the perpetrators of this dastardly act. Anambra will soon be hell for these criminals.
“He wishes to reassure Ndi Anambra of the government’s resolve and renewed determination with the security agencies to go all out against the criminals and ensure they are brought to justice.
“Anambra will win against the forces of darkness. Ndi Anambra should brace up for the all-out war against the criminals.”
House of Assembly says death heartbreaking
Reacting to the beheading of the lawmaker, the Anambra State House of Assembly has described the murder of Okechukwu Okoye, the member representing Aguata 11 constituency as heartbreaking, expressing rude shock over the incident.
Okoye was kidnapped a week ago by gunmen in Aguata and his head was found along Nnobi road in Idemili South local government area of the state.
Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Uche Okafor, in a statement in Awka, described the late Okoye as one of the outspoken and articulated lawmakers in the state legislature.
According to him, the legislative institution in the state had lost a quality member, recalling the late Okoye’s sense of humour, hospitality, and commitment to duty.
Noting that his demise would surely be felt in the House of Assembly, the Speaker urged Governor Chukwuma Soludo not to relent in his efforts towards achieving maximum security of lives and property of Anambra people.
He also called on well-meaning citizens of the state to join hands with the governor in securing the state, even as he commiserated with Okoye’s immediate family, his kinsman, Governor Soludo, and the entire Isuofia community.
“On behalf of the members of the State House of Assembly and the entire legislature, I enjoin you to take solace in the fact that the short but eventful life of the late Okoye was full of quality service to God and humanity,” the Speaker said.
IPOB’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor condemns beheading of lawmaker
Also yesterday, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lead counsel, to the Indigenous People of Biafra, has vehemently condemned the beheading of Okechukwu Okoye, member representing Aguata II Constituency at the Anambra State House of Assembly by the notorious gunmen.
Ejiofor in a statement issued yesterday described Okechukwu Okoye’s killers as ‘blood-sucking demons’
In the statement titled ‘Strangers In Our Land’, the lawyer decried the killings stating that his client, Nnamdi Kanu, will be shocked by the news of Okoye’s beheading.
He called on all well-meaning people of the South-East to join hands together to provide relevant information to fish out those behind the evil acts.
The statement read: “Dear Igbos of goodwill – home and abroad – our Land is under siege by blood-sucking demons. It is no longer in doubt that the insecurity rocking the South-East region has taken an entirely troubling dimension and cannot be allowed to continue.
“Yesterday, being the 21st Day of May 2022, I was inundated with the most unbelievable news making rounds, of the gruesome torture and subsequent beheading of one Mr. Okechukwu Okoye and his co-traveler in Anambra State by their abductors.
“I was shattered and in disbelief! I kept making calls until late into the night to ascertain its authenticity, and very sadly, this has been confirmed as true.
“This is the latest in the spree of mindless and barbaric killings that have been going on in the Sout-East in recent times.
“We, Igbos have been known for our hospitality, love, and open-door policy to all and sundry. We take pride in being industrious by making something out of nothing wherever we find ourselves on this planet earth.
“May I assure you all at this point that my indefatigable Client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will be gravely shocked and saddened by this dastardly act too, having previously and severally mandated me in the past to condemn such barbaric acts on his behalf.
“No doubt, our enemies have boldly infiltrated our land and now operating unchecked. Hence, there must be an immediate stop to these dastardly acts by these blood-sucking demons currently desecrating our land.
“We, therefore, call on every well-meaning person living in the South-East, to join hands together to provide relevant information that would help to fish out these marauders, so that they are publicly dealt with in line with the dictates of the law.
“It is the collective responsibility of everyone to rise to this challenge. This is not in our culture and certainly not our style.
“There is no doubt whatsoever, that criminals are on a rampage. These monsters that kidnap for ransoms have no connection whatsoever with the freedom fighting movement. They are impostors and hirelings whose singular objective is to kill and destroy in a calculated attempt to demonise IPOB.
“Very compelling to mention in this piece too, for a well guided and wholistic solution, is that only a few weeks ago, a prominent Anambrarian gave a gory account of how he was kidnapped by the monsters he described as Fulani herdsmen. Ransom was paid before he was freed.
“Just a few days back also, an audio recording of a call made to a relative of a kidnapped victim in the kidnappers’ den right inside Anambra State went viral. The disjointed English accent of the culprits spoke volumes of which divide of the country the kidnappers came from.
“The public is yet to be informed as to whether these victims are lucky to be freed on ransom of N10million demanded by the monsters, or killed as threatened.
“I therefore strongly condemn in unmistaken terms, this dastardly act in its entirety and consequently, call on security agencies and every Anambrabrian to unite towards defending our land from these monsters desecrating it. These criminal elements, regardless of their ethnic affiliations must be crushed. We must free our land from them. The hour is here! My heart indeed bleeds!
“We must secure our region and reclaim our identity, which our forefathers toiled so hard to build for us. Enough is enough!
“We must all join hands together to ensure that peace and order are restored to the South-East region, as a matter of urgency. May God deliver our land.”
Gunmen allegedly set up camp in Anambra community
There are fresh fears in some Anambra communities following the revelation of the setting up of a new camp by criminal elements, known as gunmen.
A message circulating on social media stated that the criminals have created a new camp in Unubi, Nnewi South Local Government Area, from where they attack indigenes.
An unsigned message circulating on social media gave an account of how the men attacked some residents in Igboukwu community, along Obiuno-Ekwulumili road last Friday.
The message from an eyewitness said: “The armed gang has created a new Operational Camp in the Unubi bush, a town located in Nnewi South Local government Council of Anambra State.
“On Friday evening, 20th of May, 2022 at about 5:50 pm, gunmen laid siege along the road, specifically at Ugwumba Bus Stop, in search of the owner of a Lexus Rx330 who allegedly succeeded in escaping from his car.
“The Lexus owner quickly alighted from the car after driving it into the gutter at Ugwumba Bus stop and ran into Ezechibuike’s home, that situates around the bus stop, through which he disappeared.
“However, the unidentified gunmen said to be numbering more than ten on arrival at the bus stop discovered that the owner of the car had disappeared, laid siege in the vicinity of Ugwumba bus stop for an upward duration of an hour, and commanded all the road users this evening to lay face down while they were busy searching for the Lexus owner.”
The message which is now being widely circulated stated that the men later left with their vehicle taking with them the Lexus SUV abandoned by their victim.
The message ended by advising indigenes of Igboukwu and Unubi living in the diaspora not to be in a hurry to return to the village until security improves.
The Anambra State Police Command’s spokesperson, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga could not be reached for confirmation of the occupation of the community by gunmen at the time of filing this report.
Most towns and communities in Nnewi South Local Government Area have been under attack recently. An indigene of Ezinifitte, in the same local government area, told our correspondent that youths have deserted the community for fear of being forcefully conscripted into armed gangs.
Kumuyi cancels S-East crusade, cites security challenges
Following the spate of insecurity, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Williams Kumuyi had to cancel his planned crusade in Aba, Abia State.
Kumuyi cancelled the crusade due to security concerns in the South-East geopolitical zone.
The crusade was scheduled to hold in Aba from May 24 to May 29, 2022 but the Indigenous People of Biafra told the 80-year-old cleric not to go ahead with the crusade.
Kumuyi’s aide said: “As there are currently some security challenges at the intended alpha location (Aba, Abia State, Nigeria), the Global Crusade Convener, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi commiserates with our people in Abia State and will be praying along for God’s Divine Intervention.”
Abduct another Anambra politician, shoot his only son
Meanwhile, gunmen have abducted a local politician in Anambra State, a few hours after the news of the beheading of a lawmaker in the state became public.
The abducted man, Uzozie Chukwujekwu, is a special adviser to a former chairman of Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The council has witnessed frequent attacks lately.
The gunmen reportedly invaded Umudiji Umuohama village in Ukpor, a community in the council in the early hours of Saturday.
The attack occurred six days after gunmen had abducted a lawmaker in the state, Okechukwu Okoye.
The latest victim, Mr Chukwujekwu, who is a farmer, was reportedly abducted from his house.
The gunmen, who abducted him, shot his only son in the stomach for refusing to open the gate for them when they invaded the area.
The politician’s son has been taken to a nearby hospital where he is receiving treatment.
The police spokesperson in Anambra State, Tochukwu Ikenga confirmed the incident.
He said the police have begun an operation to rescue the victim from his abductors.
Cannibals ‘ve infiltrated Igboland —COSEYL
Meantime, Igbo youths under the guise of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, have strongly condemned the gruesome murder of Okechukwu Okoye,who was abducted days ago by unknown gunmen represented Governor Charles Soludo’s constituency.
COSEYL which blamed the menace on “the enemies of Igbo land”, claimed that the dastardly acted as a dangerous signal that the perpetrators were after the governor and have infiltrated Igbo land.
According to COSEYL, perpetrators of the menace are invariably trying to delay the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The Igbo youth leaders urged Gov. Soludo to as a matter of urgency, set up a vigilante group to safeguard Anambra communities.