In a tragic incident on the Ishiagu/Mpu Road in Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have claimed the lives of Mr Okafor Aja, the father of the national youth leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and Mr Emmanuel Igwe, an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ebonyi State. The late Igwe, a resident of Uburu in Ohaozara local government area, served as an assistant electoral officer in Afikpo North local government area.


Mazi Damian Okafor, the national youth leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, confirmed the incident and revealed that the kidnappers, believed to be herdsmen, abducted the wife of the INEC officer after shooting and killing her husband. During their escape into the bush with the abducted woman, the kidnappers encountered Mr Okafor Aja, who was tending to his yam farm. Tragically, they attacked and killed him with a machete, presumably to prevent him from revealing the path they had taken. The suspected herdsmen have been causing havoc on the Ishiagu/Mpu axis of the road, targeting innocent motorists and commuters.


The incident occurred around noon yesterday, and it has been reported to the police at Ivo Divisional Headquarters. Mazi Damian Okafor expressed concern over the lack of significant action by the police to apprehend the suspected herdsmen. Additionally, the whereabouts of the abducted woman remain unknown, adding to the distressing circumstances.


A security expert in the state also confirmed the attack, noting that suspected kidnappers had recently shot and killed another man from Akaeze, also in Ivo local government area. These incidents have heightened tensions in the region, prompting hundreds of women from Ishiagu to stage a protest condemning the incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen along the road. The protest escalated into violence, resulting in the destruction of properties belonging to prominent individuals in the local government.


Governor Nwifuru recently appointed and inaugurated special assistants on internal security in all local government areas of the state, with a specific mandate to address insecurity, including communal clashes and kidnappings. However, efforts to obtain a response from the state police public relations officer, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, have been unsuccessful.