Gunmen kill three Imo traditional rulers during meeting

Tragedy struck in Imo State, yesterday, as yet-to-be identified gunmen opened fire on traditional rulers during a meeting, killing three of them.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the monarchs were meeting at the Njaba Local Council headquarters at Nnenasa when the hoodlums struck.

The Guardian gathered that some traditional rulers sustained injuries. At the time of filing this report, the council headquarters was in panic state.

Police Public relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mike Abattam, said two of the traditional rulers had been confirmed dead while the command had commenced investigation into the incident. The fallen monarchs are the Obi I of Okwudor Autonomous Community, Eze Anayochukwu Durueburuo and Eze Sampson Osunwa of Ihebineowerre Autonomous Community.

The traditional rulers from the area, numbering about 20, were in a meeting at the local council headquarters when gunmen invaded the venue and interrupted the meeting with sporadic gunshots.

The injured have been rushed to undisclosed hospitals for treatment.

IN the same vein, South East Council of Traditional Rulers have expressed dismay over the rapid deterioration of affairs in Alaigbo, resulting in gruesome killings, destruction of property, fear and progressive militarisation of the region.

They said there were distinct feelings of disaffection, frustration and distrust, all of which are alien to nature and tradition of the people.

In a statement, signed by the traditional rulers across the five states of the South East geopolitical zone, the monarchs asked all stakeholders in the entire cross section of Alaigbo to sheath their swords and rally together for mutual forgiveness and healing so as to re-set the strategic agenda for engaging meaningfully with fellow citizens in other parts of the country.

They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to show wisdom, rationality and fatherliness by causing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to be de-proscribed as a terrorist organisation and Nnamdi Kanu to be released from detention into the hands of the Igbo traditional and religious leaders.

“As part of creating the enabling environment for reconciliation and peace building, the on-going sit-at-home on Mondays or any other days in the South-East to end forthwith and normal economic activities to resume without intimidation or molestation by any person or group.

“The traditional and religious leaders and statesmen of Alaigbo to urgently convoke a forum for serious dialogue and consultation involving all stakeholder groups, including IPOB and other protest groups. Such search for genuine peace, mutual forgiveness and healing, and love should be without pre-conditions, and geared towards restoring collective strength and self-esteem and re-shaping strategic position in Nigeria. Our counterparts in other political zones should consider a similar approach, leading to a platform for national healing and peace,” the statement added.

They also demanded that in view of the resounding demands from the majority of the citizens of the country, the National Assembly should commence, without delay, the legislative processes for a bill that would mandate all Nigerians to begin negotiations for the review of the nation’s constitution and restoration of a truly federal governance framework in the manner of the Independence Constitution that the founding fathers painstakingly fashioned and bequeathed to the nation.

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