The heightening spate of insecurity in Imo State which has for some time been on the front burner of public discourse seems to have gradually reached a crescendo as no fewer than five persons including a former Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt.Hon Lawman Duruji were reportedly kidnapped at different locations across the two senatorial zones of Okigwe and Owerri zones over the weekend.
Others kidnapped are the wife of Franklin Onwumere, former Governor Rochas Okorocha’s loyalist and erstwhile boss of Imo Security Watch under Okorocha’s administration.
An Owerri based businessman, popularly called Ezzybee was reportedly kidnapped on his way to watch a football match.
A traditional ruler was reportedly also kidnapped in front of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Ubomiri on Sunday where an innocent woman returning from the 6.am mass was shot dead by the hoodlums in the process of scaring people to facilitate their escape.
A family source who commented on the development said, that Duruji had attended a wedding ceremony somewhere in his community, in Ehime Mbano LGA and was on his way back when he was kidnapped.
The Umuaka Nsu Ehime Mbano born ex-legislator ,who is said to be a force to reckon with in the race for the Okigwe South Federal constituency seat on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, has also been a consistent and vocal critic of bad governance in the State.
His kidnap among others which have been condemned in very strong terms by many, has elicited tension, controversy and public outcry among Imolites at home and in the Diaspora who have expressed dismay about what they referred to as a frightening and disturbing situation that questions the integrity and capacity of a government that has failed in its cardinal responsibility of ensuring the protection of lives and property of citizens.
Many view the kidnap as politically motivated and must have been planned by those afraid of Duruji’s rising profile.
When contacted, the Spokesperson of the Imo State Police Command, Mike Abattam said the command was on the trail of the kidnappers.
He disclosed that one of the victims who was kidnapped at Ubomiri had been rescued by the police.