The onslaught on the traditional institution is on the rise in Imo State as gunmen on Sunday wrecked havoc in some communities in the state by kidnapping two more traditional rulers.
Our correspondent gathered that the gunmen also burnt their palaces and vehicles during the operation.
The affected traditional rulers were, Acho Ndukwe of Amagu Ihube and Paul Ogbu of Ihitte Ihube, both in the Okigwe Local Government Area of the state.
The gunmen also kidnapped the youth leader of Umulolo Okigwe whose name had yet to be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.
Apart from kidnapping the traditional rulers and a youth leader, the gunmen also invaded the country home of a community leader in Umulolo- Okigwe, Fabian Nwosu, and vandalized his house.
Sources told our correspondent that the operation lasted from 12 midnight and 1:00am on Sunday.
One of the sources said: “It was something else in the early hours of Sunday. They came in Hilux vehicles and kidnapped the two monarchs and burnt their palaces and vehicles.
“They also kidnapped the youth leader of Umuololo- Okigwe. They also went to the house of Fabian Nwosu, on meeting his presence, they vandalized his house.
“Eze Ndukwe is an influential king. He is the chairman of Council of Traditional Rulers in Okigwe LGA. He is also the chairman and CEO of Genesis Hotel, Okigwe. Nobody can comprehend this attack. The communities are bewildered, highly confused.”
The spokesperson of the police in the state, Michael Abattam, disclosed that the command had commenced investigation into the incident.
Recall that the traditional ruler of Atta Ancient Kingdom in the Njaba Local Government Area, Eze Edwin Azike, was kidnapped on Thursday and killed on Friday with his corpse dumped at the market square.
The traditional ruler of Mbutu Ancient Kingdom, Eze Damian Nwaigwe, was kidnapped on Thursday and released on Saturday.
Also, the traditional ruler of Achi Mbieri Community, Eze Henry Madumere, was kidnapped on November 19, on the way to a public function at Iho Community in the Ikeduru LGA.
The 89-year-old monarch, who is the father to a former deputy governor of the state, Eze Madumere, was released after five days in his captors’ den.
On October 19, hoodlums invaded Njaba LGA council headquarters at Nnenasa and shot at traditional rulers who were having a stakeholders meeting.
While two traditional rulers sustained gunshot injuries and were rushed to a hospital, two other monarchs namely Eze Anayo Durueburuo of Okwudo and Eze Sampson Osunwa of Ihebinowere Community died on the spot.