From George Onyejiuwa and Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Gunmen yesterday continued their killing spree in Imo State as they shot dead four traditional rulers who were having a stakeholders’ meeting in Nnenasa, in Njaba Local Government Area in the State.
A source from the area told Daily Sun that the deceased monarchs and some others from the state were deliberating on some issues at the meeting when the gunmen suddenly alighted from their vehicle and shot them at close range.
Two of the deceased monarchs are Eze E. A Duruebure and Eze Sampson Osunwa of Okwudor and Ihebinowere autonomous communities, respectively.
Although Daily gathered that some other traditional rulers were also seriously wounded in the attack, two of them whose names were not mentioned were said to be in coma.
Following the attack on the royal fathers, the council area was said to have been enveloped with fear as most of the traditional rulers who did not attend the meeting reportedly absconded from their palaces.
The monarch of Okpanakum community, Eze Vincent Duru, who spoke to Daily Sun on telephone, said that he escaped unhurt, while his driver was shot on the leg.
He said: “I thank God that I escaped unhurt, but my driver was shot on one of his legs. I am in my house right now. It was terrible as we were attacked by gunmen. Immediately we started hearing gunfire, everybody scampered for safety and some of us went to hide in some of the offices. I learnt that some of the traditional rulers were killed, but I cannot confirm it because immediately the gunmen left, everyone came out from their hid- ing place and headed for home.”
The police spokesperson in the state, Mike Abattam, who confirmed the incident, said: “Yes, two monarchs were killed today (yesterday). The gunmen just got there where they were having their meeting and opened fire on them.”