HRM Eze(Dr) E C Okeke

Imo Monarchs Flee Communities Over Incessant Assassination

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-Eze Acho of Okigwe regains freedom

The spate of insecurity in the state as evidenced in the frightening level of abductions, killings and arson has assumed an alarming  proportion compelling traditional  rulers in the state who seem to be targets of the new  wave of horror to flee in droves  from their communities to avoid being victims.

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There have been series of unprovoked attacks on traditional rulers in the  state in the past few months resulting in the death of some of them while others had their homes razed by unknown hoodlums otherwise called gunmen.

Some lucky ones were kidnapped and later released. One of such was the traditional ruler of Achi Mbieri  autonomous community in Mbaitoli LGA HRH, Eze Henry Mademere father of the former deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere who spent almost one week in kidnappers den before regaining his freedom.

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A traditional ruler in the state who does not want his name in print said, “the situation has become so disturbing. As it is now, we are not safe and the police who are supposed to rise up to the challenge are not  helping matters. If you call them, they neither respond to come to the scene of the incident. That is why most of us have concluded plans to relocate from our communities to save our heads.”

Responding to a question, he said, “It is unfortunate that some people are using the tense security situation in the state for vendetta, by gossiping, concocting and spreading false and malicious stories about people they want to get at, especially traditional rulers.

We are not politicians but because in line with the law of the land, we are loyal to any government in power which in turn, communicates information to the people through us. These boys who hardly investigate the information at their disposal now see us as  spies, agents and apologists  of the government which the already have an axe to grind with.”

Speaking in the same vein, one of the  traditional rulers in the state who also pleaded anonymity said, the situation has gone out  of hand, hence they have decided to start distancing themselves from government  functions and programmes. “when these boys who hardly  investigate their reports see us at such functions which we are mandated to attend, they conclude that we are agents of the government.”

He lamented that this is the first time in the history of Imo state that traditional rulers have become endangered species for being loyal to the government.

He called on governor, Hope Uzodinma to as a matter of urgency find lasting solution to the unprecedented insecurity in the state which has done unimaginable damage to the image and psyche of the state and her indigenes respectively.

“We can no longer pretend that all is well when in the actual fact, there is fire on the mountain.”

 It would be recalled that the traditional ruler of Atta Ancient Kingdom in Njaba LGA, Eze Edwin Azike who was kidnapped on Thursday  and killed on Friday. His corpse was dumped at the market square.

The traditional ruler of Achi Mbieri autonomous community in Mbatoli LGA, HRH, Eze Henry Madumere, father of the former deputy governor of the state, Prince Eze Madumere, was kidnapped on his way to a function at Iho, Ikeduru LGA Council headquarters.

He was however released after few days in the kidnappers’ den.

In October, gunmen invaded Nnenasaal LGA headquarters and shot at traditional rulers who were having a stakeholders meeting.

Two traditional rulers were killed in the attack while two sustained gunshot injuries and were subsequently rushed to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Council of Traditional rulers in Okigwe,HRH Eze Acho who was recently kidnapped has regained freedom.He was released yesterday. According to Imo governor, senator Hope Uzodinma who addressed the press shortly after the Monarch was released commended the security agents for working hard to restore peace in the state.He vowed to continuously support the security agents in curbing crime in the state.

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