By Maureen Ikpeama, Chibota Edozie, Enugu
PALPABLE anxiety and fear has gripped the people of Ogbozinne autonomous community, Akpugo, Nkanu West Local Government, Enugu State, over alleged murder of their traditional ruler, Igwe Stephen Nwatu by reported mob in the community.
National light gathered that the crux of the matter was said to be tussle in town union leadership of the community which had lingered for 10 years since the traditional ruler came on board.
According to a reliable source, the traditional ruler, Igwe Nwatu reportedly refused any move by a faction of the people of the community to install a town union leadership.
“It is on record that over ten years since the traditional ruler was enthroned there has been no town union and this matter has divided the community into two factions with the traditional ruler leading one of the faction loyal to him”, source who pleaded anonymity claimed.
On what led to Igwe Nwatu’s death, it was also gathered that there were two sides of the story of which one reported that a certain group of his community pounced on him when he came in company of two police men to effect arrest of those opposing him.
“On getting there the two police men were said to have fled seeing the crowd and the traditional ruler was left alone at the mercy of the angry mob who beat him thoroughly, stripping him naked and he was rushed to Parklane Hospital, where he gave up the ghost”, the source reported.
The other version was that both factions were said to have been invited to government house, Enugu, on Monday for a meeting with the Igwe alleged to have made attempts to stop opposing group that resisted it and beat him to pulp.
However, over 20 houses were said to have been burnt down by group loyal to the killed traditional ruler.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebele Amarizu had confirmed the story, noting that police was investigating the matter with a view to nabbing the culprits and subsequently charge them to court.
Meanwhile, a team of combined security had taken over the community to forestall violence and break down of law and order.