Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen seem to have taken over the Awgu axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway as they struck again, on Sunday evening and abducted a traditional ruler and his wife in Enugu State.
At about the same period and scene on the fateful Sunday, former Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief Eze Chikamnayo, escaped death by the whiskers in the hands of gunmen who fired several bullets on his car after the Ihe junction of the expressway.
These two incidents happened barely 72 hours after Rev. Fr. Paul Offu of the St. James the Greater Catholic parish, Ugbwaka was murdered by persons suspected to be herdsmen along Agbudu-Ihe road, in Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
Igwe Sunday Orji of Obom-Agbogugu, Awgu Local Government Area and his wife, according to a witness, were kidnapped, just after the Agbogugu-Ihe junction, along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, while they were returning from the thanksgiving mass organised by the Bishop of Awgu Diocese, Most Rev. John Ifeanyichukwu Okoye, to mark the birthday of his aged mother, Ezinne Ekedimma Okoye, which held St. John’s Pro Cathedral Church, Owelli, Awgu.
A source said that they were convinced that the perpetrators were Fulani who shot sporadically into the air before whisking away the traditional ruler and his wife.
“We had received distress calls from the area of some road blocks and long queues of vehicles.
“Indeed, these are challenging times in my area. We need your prayers and we request for urgent government intervention to rescue the victims”, a prominent indigene of the area that preferred to be anonymous said.
Police confirmed the incident and said they had commenced manhunt for the perpetrators.
A family source said the kidnappers had established contact with them and demanded for N50 million ransom, but they later brought it down to N20 million.
Narrating his ordeal, Chikamnayo said the unthinkable happened as he drove from his hometown, Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State to Enugu.
“This was just before UNTH after Awgu junction. Suddenly, a hooded person jumped out of the bush in front of me and started shooting at my car. Before I could make anything out of it, another three appeared in front and bullets started flying everywhere. I have been hearing about Fulani herdsmen but what I saw yesterday (Sunday) is better imagined than experienced.