My life, that of my subjects under threat — Traditional Ruler cries for help
The Traditional Ruler of Iggah community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, Igwe Herbert Ukuta, on Monday cried out for help, saying his life and those of his subject are under heavy death threats.
He said those suspected to be stealing and selling his community lands illegally have put him and some other persons on their watch list having assassinated many indigenes of his community.
According to the Vanguard, the traditional ruler stressed that the illegal land sellers have also been promoting local wars between Iggah and Ojor communities in the council area.
The newspaper reported that “trouble started when Fabian Eleanya, who was alleged to be part of those selling community land in Iggah died in custody due to protracted cancer of the lungs he was treating before his arrest.
“It was also gathered that the deceased elder brother, identified as Stephen Eleanya, conspired with his brothers to avenge the death of late Eleanya by eliminating the traditional ruler of Iggah community, Ukuta and those who allegedly accused their late brother of land sale.
It further gathered that Stephen allegedly made the deceased’s son, Obinna Eleanya, now at large, to swear with a local spade to avenge his father’s death by allegedly killing those who accused him of selling community lands.
Following the development, it was learned that a popular native doctor in the community known as Herbert Igwebuike, was allegedly shot dead in front of his house, while his neighbour’s two legs were equally severed by gunshots and he reportedly bled to death.
Narrating more accounts of the war, the traditional ruler was quoted by the newspaper to have said: “Another member of my community, known as David Anikwe, was also assassinated in front of his house on February 17, 2022. Before his death, he stood against the sale of our community lands.
“Those who killed him came on a motorcycle around 9 pm and shot him in the groin. They kept firing at him until they confirmed that he was dead. His son who ran out on hearing the gunshots narrowly escaped being killed too.
“The community members, who were alerted by the sound of the gun, came out only to see the suspects escaping through the farm track road. It was at that moment that the electric light came and the suspects were recognised.
“The second son of the late Eleanya, known as Sunday, also wanted to assassinate a member of my community called Chika in broad daylight. He came into Chika’s house and shot at him twice but the bullets did not penetrate his skin. He tried an axe on him too but it did not work.
“He then pulled a kitchen knife and stabbed his daughter in the hands. It was then that Chika held him, threw him down and raised the alarm. Luckily, the military men who were on patrol heard the noise arrested Sunday.
“Ifeanyi Anago was also arrested following an intelligence. While Sunday Eleanya was charged with attempted murder, Ifeanyi Anago and Sunday Eleanya, were charged with murder because the son of David, who narrowly escaped their bullets, recognised them when they killed his father.”
He appealed to the government to come to the aid of the late David’s family, who he described as the breadwinner.When contacted, a member of the Eleanya family, Stephen Eleanya, denied instigating his brothers to kill members of his community.
He said: “I didn’t instigate my brothers to be killing people. We don’t know where the killers are from. All I can say is that there are two factions in the community, those behind our traditional ruler and those who do not recognise him as our traditional ruler. So, whenever anything happens, those in Igwe’s camp will believe that the second party is behind it.
“I am an agric officer and I don’t know anything about this allegation. This kind of allegation was equally used to kill my brother.”