By Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze in Enugu
The Enugu State Police Command has confirmed the abduction of the traditional ruler of Obom-Agbogugu, Awgu Local Government Area, Igwe Sunday Orji, alongside his wife by gunmen.
Igwe Orji was reportedly kidnapped with his wife around Ogbaku before Agbogwugwu junction along Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway while they were returning from a Thanksgiving Mass organised by the Bishop of Awgu Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Ifeanyi Okoye, for his aged mother, Ezinne Ekedimma Okoye, held at St. John’s Pro-Cathedral Church, Owelli Awgu on Sunday around 5:00 p.m.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi also attended the thanksgiving service with top officials of his government.
Orji’s abduction comes barely 72 hours after a Catholic priest, Rev Father Paul Offu, was murdered by yet-to-be-identified gunmen along the Ihe-Agbudu road.
Confirming the incident to journalists, the state Police Public Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, described the abduction of the monarch and wife as unfortunate.
He however said that the police had swung into action to rescue the traditional ruler immediately they got information about his abduction.
According to him, ”A squad of policemen were already in the bush trailing Igwe’s abductors. I can assure you that our men are on top of the situation and Igwe and his wife would soon be rescued unhurt.”
The kidnappers have reportedly contacted the Igwe’s family demanding N50 million ransom for their release.
Meanwhile, the Enugu-Okigwe-Umuahia-Port Harcourt expressway has become a nightmare for travellers as suspected herdsmen have continued to unleash mayhem on the road.
Sources disclosed that a former Commissioner for Information in Abia State, Eze Chikamnayo had escaped death by a whisker on Sunday as he was attacked by the rampaging herdsmen on his way to Enugu from Isochi in Umunneochi council.
“The herdsmen with guns virtually took over the expressway firing from all cylinders. The vehicle of the former commissioner was riddled with bullets, he merely survived by the grace of God. The road is no longer safe for anybody,” the source noted.