“There is tension in the whole town over the incident. The men, who came in a CRV Honda Jeep sped away with the monarch and commercial motorcyclists pursued them as far as Ughelli, but because they were driving a motor vehicle, they succeeded in escaping,” a villager said.
Police Public Relations Officer, Delta State Police Command, DSP Celestina Kalu, confirmed the abduction of the royal father when contacted by Saturday Vanguard.
She said: “We are aware; police are on top of the situation, we have mobilized our men in search of the suspects.”
He said the local vigilance group in the area was also working, adding that the information at his disposal indicated that the kidnappers abandoned their getaway car at Agbarha Otor, near Ughelli, when they sensed that security operatives were hot on their heels.
Saturday Vanguard contacted the acting chair of the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, the Obi of Owa Kingdom, HRM Emmanuel Efeizemor on phone, but one of his aides, who picked the call, told our reporter that they would call him back in two hours time.
Olomoro turning into dangerous zone
Saturday Vanguard investigation showed that Olomoro is becoming another den for kidnappers. A former Commissioner in the defunct Bendel state and foremost educationist, Chief Idodo Umeh, was kidnapped inside the Baptist Church, Olomoro, on a Sunday, by a kidnap gang, which came shooting in a similar fashion, last month.
Fish out perpetrators – Delta monarchs
Royal fathers in the state, who held an emergency meeting, Thursday, at Asaba, implored the Delta State Government to do everything probable to fish out the Fulani herdsmen and their accomplices, who abducted and killed their colleague, Obi of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom, Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state, late HRM Edward Akazue Ofulue III.
Unaware that one of them would barely 24 hours later, the royal fathers in a communiqué signed by HRM Emmanuel Efeizomor urged the state government to provide adequate protection for them to prevent the reoccurrence of the Ubulu-Uku tragedy in future.
They condemned the incident, which generated tension in the state as very strong terms, describing it as a taboo.
Reacting to the incident in an online interactive session with reporters, Delta state-born Atlanta Georgia- based medical practitioner, Dr Isioma Okobah, described the kidnap and murder of Ofulue III as a despicable act, adding, “The Friday kidnap of HRM Aghaza I is even more worrisome, as the people are yet to come to terms with the Ubulu-Uku monarch tragedy.”
Dr Okobah called on security agencies to disentangle the remote and immediate circumstances surrounding the incident, adding that the state government should put in place security measures to safeguard citizens. She prayed God to give the Obi- in- council and the immediate family of the late king the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
While he is contending with the murder of Ofulue III, kidnappers have abducted another monarch, putting him and security agencies in the state in a tight spot.
The governor had said, “It was sad that a reigning king was abducted but unheard of fact was his murder in the most dehumanizing circumstances by his abductors in the forest. I have directed an inquiry into this abominable act and call on all Deltans, particularly the kingdom and the security agencies to work harmoniously to unearth the culprits.”