Tragedy struck weekend at Isienu Amofu Nkerefi community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State as the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Peter Onuoha, was assassinated by gunmen suspected to be hired killers.
The gunmen also sent a native, identified as Chocho, as well as a man and his wife, whose identities are yet to be ascertained, to their early graves in a most gruesome manner.
Other natives reportedly shot by the invading gunmen, who made their way into the town under cover of darkness, are said to be receiving treatment at the Annunciation Specialist Hospital, Emene Enugu. Eyewitness account revealed that the residents of the community were thrown into confusion when the noise of the sporadic shooting by the gunmen rent the air.
Those residing near the palace of the royal father were said to have fled their homes on hearing the sound of the booming guns but some unlucky ones were hit by flying bullets. At the end of the shooting, the fleeing residents of the community returned only to discover that their traditional ruler, Igwe Onuoha and one Chocho had been shot dead.
The personal assistant to the royal father, identified as Vincent, was reportedly shot while fleeing the palace but he survived the attack. It was also gathered that a man and his wife, said to be a nurse, were also found dead within the neighbourhood on account of gunshot wounds they sustained.
The reason for the attack could not be immediately ascertained but local sources said the royal father and some youths in the community had disagreed over a suspicious spiritual sacrifice he made in the community sometime last year.
“Last year, Igwe and the youths in the village had problem when they (youths) accused the monarch of retarding the progress of the community through fetish practices but the Igwe had reportedly told them that the sacrifice he did was purely for his protection and that of his family members and not on behalf of the entire community.
“Angered by the development, the youths were said to have forcefully uprooted the royal father’s signboard to express their disloyalty but the community leaders condemned the act and threatened to fish out and discipline the youths involved.
“Some of the culprits ran out of the community since then, but it is not clear for now if the exiled youths are responsible for this bloodbath,” a source in the village told The UNION yesterday.
Igwe Onuoha, the Eze Na Chi 1, was the Managing Director of Posdonal Nigeria Limited and Secretary of Nkanu East Traditional Rulers Council The State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the incident, said the royal father and three others lost their lives in the bloody incident that occurred at Nkerefi Friday night. He said that the corpse of the royal father had been deposited at the Eastern Nigeria Medical Centre, Enugu, while the three other corpses were deposited at Agbani Health Centre in Nkanu West Local Government Area, Saturday morning.
– Amah Baldwin, Enugu