By Peterson Ibi/Benin
The traditional ruler, of Ukhiri, a community in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of Edo State, HRH Godwin Osayande Aigbe, was on Saturday abducted by yet to be identified gunmen, palace sources have announced.
Known by the title of Enogie (Duke) of Ukhiri, the victim was a retired Chief Superintendent of Police, who took over the traditional stool from his late father some years ago.
It was gathered that the heavily armed gunmen, who numbered about five, stormed the palace on Saturday, shot sporadically into the air before taking the king to unknown destination.
Sources close to the community said that the hoodlums set ablaze their unregistered car before forcing the traditional ruler into his own Nissan Sunny car and zoomed off.
It was further gathered that the abductors drove to the Delta State side through the Abraka road.
The State Police Spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed the abduction to journalists on phone, said the police is on top of the situation.
“Yes, it is true. The police is on top of the situation to ensure that the traditional ruler is rescued unhurt,” he said.
The state government also announced the arrest of suspected killers of four police officers in Afuze Divisional Police Headquarters last week.
A statement issued on Sunday in Benin, by the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said their arrest followed a marching order to the State Police Command by Governor Godwin Obaseki, to fish out the killers.
It said following the massacre of the police operatives, Governor Godwin Obaseki gave a directive immediately for the killers to be unraveled.
The statement disclosed that the hoodlums would be paraded before journalist on Monday.
According to the statement, a proper briefing of the operation that led to the arrest of the suspected killers will be given during the parade.
Osagie said that the Obaseki-led administration is committed to protecting lives and property in the state and would never allow criminals have a free reign in the state.
“It is a bit of closure that the police has apprehended some of those suspected to have attacked the police station. Though we hear a good number of the suspects have been apprehended, we hope to get more information when the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Danmallam briefs the press tomorrow.
“The state government is committed to the security of Edo people and residents in the state. The incident in Afuze is condemnable and we commiserate with the affected families. We also hope that the speed at which the suspected culprits were arrested will bring some closure to the families, even as we await the full briefing from the police commissioner.”
It would be recalled that a gang of criminals had attacked the Afuze Divisional Police Headquarters, Owan East Local Government Area of Edo, where they massacred forum operatives, including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) a pregnant police sergeant and two other officers on duty.