Kidnappers besiege Imo community, turn cannibals, roast victims

By AdvocateNews on 18/12/2021

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•What we saw was an eyesore —DSS, after some arrests

•Uzodimma links invasion to April jailbreak, vows to tame criminals

While Owerri, Imo State capital enjoys relative peace, the story is not pleasant in some communities of the state.

In Orsu area of the state it may not be wrong to tag criminal activities that have sacked the indigenes insurgency.

For traditional rulers in Imo State, it is the worst of all times and cruelest of fate, as much as one’s mind could recollect. A time they may not have envisaged. And a fate neither them, nor most Imolites have fathomed its rationale. To be a monarch in the state at the moment could be deadly.

While no one has been able to say for sure the sin committed by the royal fathers to be deserving of their present predicament, the saddening reality has remained that the monarchs who spent days in kidnappers’ dungeon before regaining freedom are the luckiest among the kings. The not-so-lucky are today communing with their ancestors.

In the last one month, no fewer than seven monarchs have been abducted in Imo and one killed among them.

Five of these monarchs were seized in the last one week. They are the traditional rulers of Mbutu Ancient Kingdom, Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area and Atta Community in Njaba Council Area, Damian Nwaigwe and Edwin Azike, respectively. While Nwaigwe later regained freedom, Azike was killed and his remains dumped at a market square.

The other three are the monarchs of Amagu Ihube and Ihitte Ihube communities, both in Okigwe Local Government Area, Acho Ndukwe and Paul Ogbu, respectively, and that of Umuezeala-Ama Ancient Kingdom in Ehime Mbano L.G.A., Eze Aloy Igwe.

Not only were these monarchs abducted, their palaces were also burnt and youth leaders kidnapped alongside. The situation has caused great panic as many monarchs have fled the state in apprehension.

For the Chairman, Imo Traditional Institution/Community Policing, Eze Emmanuel Okeke, the situation has remained a puzzle. He could not understand why traditional rulers who he noted are custodians of culture should become targets of kidnap and murder.

He described the incidences of abduction and killing of monarchs in the state as abomination.

“This is abominable in Igbo culture. I don’t know why traditional rulers are being hunted like this. We are not politicians, we are only custodians of the culture of our people.

“We are highly saddened by this situation”, Eze Okeke lamented.

The traditional ruler of Achi Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state, Eze Henry Madumere, had earlier been 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 in the kidnappers’ den. That was preceded by an attack on the monarchs who were having stakeholders meeting at Njaba council headquarters, Nnenasa, in which two were killed, while others sustained injuries.

In all of these, the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma and security agencies had kept reassuring the traditional rulers and residents that the insecurity in the state would be arrested.

Going by the incident of Monday, December 13, in which a joint team of security men said they raided a hideout in Orsu Local Government Area and border community, Uli in Ihiala L.G.A., Anambra, arresting 30 suspects and rescuing Eze Acho Ndukwe; one would expect that reprieve would come the way of monarchs and residents.

Briefing newsmen in Owerri, the state Director of Department of State Security, Wilcox Idaminabo, said they were stunned by what they saw in the camp.

“It was a joint security operation comprising the military, police and the Director of State Services, DSS. We stormed the kidnappers’ hideout in a community In Anambra State and Orsu in Imo State.

“The community has been deserted and nobody is living there. The boys carved a large area of land and that is another form of insurgency, nobody is residing there.

“In the course of the operation, the security forces were able to rescue Eze Acho, and we discovered a lot of decapitated bodies. I wonder, in the 21st century, we noticed that people still practice cannibalism here. We saw human flesh being roasted. It was an eyesore.

“We saw a lot of dead bodies. What they do is kidnap and kill some of them. Of course, they engaged the security agencies but we overpowered them and made a lot of arrests”, the DSS boss stated.

Orsu area of the state could be said to have been a war zone since March this year. There have been reports of security men storming the area and engaging suspects, leaving in the trail deaths and destruction of property.

Some of the residents are said to have fled the communities to save their lives, while most politicians who hail from the area are reported to be scared of going home for fear of being victim of attack.

It was gathered that it got to a point that traditional marriages meant to be held in some communities in the area were conducted either in Owerri or even outside the state.

A native of the area who spoke to Saturday Vanguard on condition of anonymity, appealed for peace, adding that the area is enveloped with tension and apprehension.

He submitted that much has been lost by people of the area, owing to the insecurity.

“I appeal to all to give peace a chance. We have suffered a lot and lost so much since the beginning of the year this whole thing started. Please, let there be peace”, he pleaded.

While other classes of the society cannot be said to be spared of the violent attacks in the state, it is indeed a dangerous time to operate as a monarch. It is hoped that the days ahead.


Posted 18/12/2021 11:28:06 AM


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