Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Gunmen have killed the traditional ruler of the Umuezeokaha community, Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, HRH, Igboke Ewa.
Ewa was killed on Monday night in the community for allegedly refusing to support a particular party in the general election.
However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has condemned the murder of the monarch.
The party in a statement issued by Emeka Nwonu, Ezza North Publicity Secretary, described the killing of Ewa who is the Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council in Ebonyi Central as horrible.
The statement reads: “The All Progressives Congress (APC), Ezza North Local Government Area Chapter condemns in strong terms the gruesome murder of the Chairman, Ezza Ezekuna Traditional Rulers Council and Traditional Ruler of Umuezeokoha Community, HRM Ezeogo Christopher Igboke Ewa.
“The Killing of the foremost traditional ruler is not only mischievous but also horrible. What pain or disadvantage would the old man cause another in terms of politics?
“He was neither a member of PDP, APC or APGA, why the killing? Even at that, a political party is an association or organisation, each person should be allowed to join anyone of his or her choice. It should not call for the termination of lives or the destruction of property.
“We condole with the family of the deceased, the good people of Umuezeokoha, the members of Ezza Ezekuna Council of Traditional Rulers and indeed, the people of Ezza Nation over the heartless killing of the nonagenarian,” he said.
Nwonu called on security agents to swing into action and bring the perpetrators to book.
Governor David Umahi in a statement confirmed free killing.
Umahi in a statement by the Commissioner for Information in Ebonyi State, Uchenna Orji, said the traditional ruler was shot dead for his refusal to support an unnamed candidate during the 25 February presidential and National Assembly election in the state.
The Information Commissioner said Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State was aware that “a number of candidates have been making provocative and inciting statements about the election results” in the state.
“His excellency the governor is directing the whole security apparatus of the state to move into Ezza North for a rescue mission. Anybody whose hand is in the killing of His Highness (Ewa) must be arrested immediately,” Mr Orji said.
Mr Umahi, the commissioner said, has appealed to leaders in the state and candidates of various political parties dissatisfied with the outcome of the Saturday polls to forward their petitions to the Independent National Electoral Commission or security agencies, instead of making “inciting statements that could generate crisis in the state.”
“The governor of Ebonyi State warns that no position in life is worth the life of another person,” he stated.
“No inciting press conference, social media posts.”
Mr Orji said the governor has resolved that anyone holding a press conference or making posts on social media to incite people will be held responsible for any outbreak of crisis in the state.
He said the governor has also appealed to the people of the state, especially the youths, “not to be used to take the life of another person.”
“Please, we have no alternative to peace in Ebonyi State,” he added.