Palpable fear has gripped the people of Mbaitoli local government area ofImoStateas gunmen killed one traditional ruler in the area and kidnapped another within three days interval.
The traditional ruler of Umueze Abazu Ogwa in the LGA, Eze Stanley Akunedo, was on Tuesday killed by unknown assailants near his country home at about 9.30pm.
Eze Akunedo, according to reports, had visited a friend who was said to have been ill and was heading home when the gunmen on a motor cycle accosted him and shot him dead.
Earlier, Nze Oliver Nwozuzu who recently emerged inaplebiscite to become the Eze-elect of Awo Mbieri was kidnapped at his thanksgiving church service days after the result of the plebiscite had been declared.
Uncomfirmed reports however, said Nze Nwaozuzu was released last Wednesday.
The two incidents had sent jitters in the spines of highly placed people in the LGA who now sleep with their eyes open.
A prominent son of Mbaitoli who would not want his name in print called on the government to intensify its policing of the rural areas and the designated satellite towns where criminals appear to be having a field day.
He postulated that tussle for traditional rulership had become fierce in recent times with the high regard and responsibility about to be placed on the shoulders of the royal fathers in the new dispensation.
“The stool has become so attractive to all and sundry and so government has to do something about it”, he said.
We recall that Gov. Anayo Rochas Okorocha had fingered Mbaitoli as a flash point inImoStateand had threatened to stop the stripend paid to traditional rulers in the area if they do not stem the tide of crime and violence in their communities.
The Divisional Police Officer in Mbaitoli could not be reached for comments as he was said to have gone on an official assignment.