BY TIMOTHY AGBOR
Tragedy has struck in Umuezekoha community, Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State following the invasion of the palace of the community’s traditional ruler, Eze Ewa by gunmen.
The monarch was shot dead by invaders at his residence on Monday night and displaced his children.
Ewa was the Chairman of the Ezza North Traditional Rulers Council in the state. His murder came about a year after the monarch escaped an assassination attempt on his life.
The state governor, Dave Umahi, who confirmed the development on Tuesday, said he had directed security agents to spare no resources in unmasking the killers of the monarch.
Describing the death of the monarch as a callous and barbaric act, Umahi, during a press conference at the New Government House, Centenary City, Abakaliki, said the deceased son informed him of the incident while speaking from his hideout.
He said, “The son called me from where he was hiding and said gunmen had killed his father and were also looking for his children. I had to immediately send the police, the Army and the men from the Department of State Services to take over their compound and rescue them.
“I tried to ask questions about him and he said his father was supporting the candidate of a particular party and his decision did not go down well with another party and it is being suspected that it could be the source of his killing. I have directed the Commissioner of Police to fish out the perpetrators and their sponsors.”
The governor claimed that the killing of the monarch might be politically-motivated, stressing that no life was worth wasting because of political office.
“This is a man that is above 80 years; a man well respected beyond the shores of this state and just for political reasons, the man was shot dead.
“It is so disturbing and it is important that the security agents do the needful and arrest further killings in the state,” he added.
Umahi described the slain royal father as an honest and pleasant man who had contributed to the development and unity of the state.
Reacting, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Onome Onovwakpayeya, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abakaliki on Tuesday that the command was aware of the incident.
“Yes, we are aware of the killing and investigation has commenced to fish out the perpetrators of such heinous crime,” she said.