Gunmen have murdered the traditional ruler of Atta ancient kingdom in the Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, Edwin Azike and dumped his body at the market square in the community on Friday morning after he was abducted on Thursday.
A community source, who pleaded not to be mentioned, told The PUNCH that four persons were shot dead on Thursday in the community after the monarch was kidnapped.
The source said, “The traditional ruler of Atta ancient kingdom in the Njaba LGA, Eze Edwin Azike, has been murdered. His lifeless body was dumped at the market square and the villagers discovered it this morning. He was kidnapped on Thursday and thereafter, the community was invaded which led to the killing of four persons.”
The chairman of Traditional Rulers Council/ Community Policing in the state, Eze Emma Okeke, said that the monarchs in the state were saddened by the killing of their colleague.
Describing the killing of Azike as an abomination, Okeke said that the council was on Friday morning informed of the killing of the traditional ruler.
He said, “We have got the sad news about the killing of Eze Edwin Azike. 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 were informed on Thursday when he was kidnapped, only for him to be found dead, this morning.”
When contacted, a spokesperson for the police in the state, Micheal Abattam, promised to make an inquiry and get back to our correspondent but he had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the traditional ruler of Mbutu ancient kingdom in the Aboh Mbaise LGA, Imo state, Damian Nwaigwe, was on Thursday morning abducted from his palace.
Also, the traditional ruler of Achi Mbieri in the Mbaitoli LGA, Henry Madumere, was on November 20, 2021, kidnapped at Iho in Ikeduru LGA, Imo state while on the way to a public function.
The octogenarian monarch, who is the father of a former deputy governor of Imo state, Eze Madumere, was released six days after his abduction.