Ebonyi monarch’s palace vandalised as women protest alleged kidnapping, killings by herdsmen
Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The palace of Agụ III of Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Eze Moses Ngele, was on Saturday vandalised during a protest by women if the community.
The women had declared a weeklong peaceful protest against killings and kidnapping of residents by suspected herdsmen in the area.
The protest, which had lingered for four days turned violent on Saturday leading to the vandalisation of the Monarch’s palace by hoodlums who allegedly hijacked the protest.
The hoodlums also vandalised the residence of Ivo Council Chairman, Emmanuel Aja.
The women protesters were alleged to have barricaded Amaeze road and other entrances to the community, demanding that the State Government and security agencies should arrest and prosecute the killers and kidnappers of their relatives, which have persisted for a long time.
“Women of Ishiagu community staged protest since early hours of yesterday, and till this present time, it’s still ongoing.
“They are protesting the incessant killings and kidnapping along Amaeze road by unknown gunmen. As I speak with you, there’s a total breakdown of laws and order.”
He continued: “The house and vehicles of the Local Government Chairman of Ivo was attacked. Also, the King of the community, Agu III of Ishiagu kingdom was also attacked. And, the women are chanting threat songs, that they’re not comfortable with their big men in the present government.”
Aja, when contacted, confirmed the incident, lamenting the level of destruction of valuable properties belonging to the Monarch and himself.
He accused opposition political parties of hijacking the peaceful protest and turning it into a violent one.
According to him: “we have a problem in a bus stop called Ejiukwu, a place where Herdsmen use to come and kidnap our people, and sometimes kill them. I have complained to DSS, the Commissioner of Police, and OC Nkwagu military cantonment are aware of it.
“The Herdsmen are living in our bush and terrorizing our people. We want them (security) to raid the bush, so this will stop.
“I left my house in the morning to meet with the OC Nkwagu military cantonment; I was there when they called me that some women have turned the peaceful protest that started some days ago, into a riot.
“The women who are agents of other political parties in the state hijacked the peaceful protest; they went to the palace of our Eze-Ogo and destroyed his properties.
“As I was there talking to the OC Nkwagu military cantonment, they informed me again, that the protesters are already in my house. They destroyed some properties and my cars including house there,” he stated.
President of Ishiagu Community Development Union(ICDU), Mr David Ajah condemned the destruction of properties belonging to the Monarch and the council Chairman during the protest.
Mr Ajah, in a statement by the Spokesperson of the Union Egu Richard, urged the women to rain peaceful while seeking for solutions to the security problems in twy community.
He promised that the Union Leadership is working with the council and security agencies to find lasting solution to the problems.