Youths of Umuihugba Umuodu Community in Owerri Municipal Council of Imo State on Monday staged a peaceful rally over the abduction of the Chief Priest of the community, Reginald Ejiogu.
The youths gave the state government 48 hours within which to rescue the Chief Priest from his captors’ or the state would burn.
Ejiogu was kidnapped alongside with the Head of Umunwagbara Village, Sunny Unachukwu on Saturday, December 18, 2021 along Christ Church Road in Owerri.
Our correspondent gathered that neither the kidnappers nor any of the abductees has made contact with their families.
Speaking with our correspondent, a youth leader in the community, Felix Udemgba, said the community is incensed over the kidnap of the Chief Priest and the Village Head.
Udemgba, who is the Treasurer of Umuihugba Umuodu Youth Association described the incident as a sacrilege.
He described the Chief Priest as the “lpillar and pride”, of the community, wondering what gave the kidnappers the temerity to touch the “eye of the gods”.
Udemgba said; “We are on a protest to draw government’s attention to the sacrilege that had been committed on our land.
“On Saturday, December 18, 2021, our Chief Priest, Reginald Ejiogu was kidnapped alongside the head of one of our villages, Sunny Unachukwu.
“Since them, we have not heard anything about their condition. We are staging this peaceful rally to draw government’s attention to the ugly development. Government should help find our Chief priest.
“He is our pillar and pride. Government should investigate the incident. There must be people in the community who were privy to the kidnap because there is no way this could happen without some people masterminding it.
“So, we are giving government 48 hours to unravel both the masterminds and the kidnappers”.
Udemgba said he could not pinpoint exactly the reason for the kidnap but acknowledged that the community has some issues which include rotational kingship tussle.
The youth leader said unsavoury events might ensure if the Chief Priest and village head were not found alive at the expiration of the two-day ultimatum.
Hear him; “I can’t say exactly what may happen at the expiration of the ultimatum and the abductees are nowhere to be found. All I know is that what will happen will shake the economy of Owerri. There are some issues in the community but I don’t want to guess as to what informed the kidnap.”
Recall that the Chief Priest was locked in a battle of supremacy with the authorities of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri following the killing of an ancestral python said to be the deity of the Owere people by students of the college.
Ejiogu had visited the college and reeled out items the college must provide to cleanse the land.
Our correspondent gathered that the college authorities have vehemently refused to perform the cleansing rites..