The abductors of Igwe Chukwudilim Eze, the traditional ruler of Ukpo Community in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra, are demanding a ransom 100 million dollars for his release. A source close to the monarch’s family told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ukpo on Thursday that the kidnappers also insisted that the ransom be paid in dollars.
“They called a cousin to the Igwe (traditional ruler) and insisted that they should be paid in dollars and they are demanding that they should be paid 100 million dollars.
NAN recalled that Eze was abducted on July 30 at his palace at about 11.20 a.m. after returning from church service at St. Mary Anglican Church.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Raphael Uzoigwe, said preliminary investigation by the police revealed that four gunmen carried out the attack but that no life was lost.
In his reaction to the demand of the abductors, Uzoigwe said that it was not in the character of the police to negotiate with kidnappers.
“We do not have knowledge of such ransom been demanded by the abductors. It is not our duty to negotiate with kidnappers.
“Ours is to arrest them and I can assure you that we are working toward arresting them,” Uzoigwe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said.
NAN recalled that Eze, a first class traditional ruler, was the fourth traditional ruler to be kidnapped in the state in the past two years.
In his reaction to the kidnapping of traditional rulers, the traditional ruler of Enugwu-Ukwu, Chijioke Nwankwo, urged the government to take proactive measures to save the traditional institution in the state from embarrassment and ridicule.
“We have become an endangered species in this respect,” he said, adding that kidnappers should be made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to others.
He also stressed the need for adequate funding for traditional institutions to enable them boost security around them.
He expressed regrets that states in the South-East had exposed traditional rulers to danger and odium by not remunerating them adequately.