Gunmen killed Victor Ijioma, the traditional ruler of Orsu Obodo, a community in Oguta Local Government Area from Imo State, southeastern Nigeria.
The thugs also killed the traditional Mgbele chief minister, also known as Isama of Mgbele, another community in the same council area.
The two victims were killed in separate attacks in different locations on Thursday, Newslodge has learned.
how they were killed
Mr. Ijioma, the traditional ruler of the Orsu Obodo community, was said to have been ambushed and killed at the Umuamaka junction in neighboring Izombe, another community in the council area.
A resident of the area, Ignatius Ogbonna, told Newslodge that the attackers killed Mr. Ijioma while he was inside his car.
The attackers set fire to the victim’s body next to his car after killing him, according to community sources.
The traditional prime minister, whose name could not be obtained at the time of writing, was assassinated in Mgbele, his community.
Sources from the two communities said that a joint team of security agents, made up of the police and the army, had begun combing the surrounding bushes in search of the attackers.
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When contacted on Friday morning, Imo State Police spokesman Henry Okoye confirmed the attacks and killings to Newslodge.
Mr. Okoye, deputy superintendent of police, said the state’s police commissioner, Ahmed Barde, has recruited a team of “high-powered” police officers to track down gunmen in the area.
Barde sympathized with the families of Ijioma and the slain prime minister, asking God to grant them the “strength to bear sudden losses,” Okoye said.
Worsening of insecurity
Like other states in south-eastern Nigeria, security has deteriorated in Imo state with frequent attacks by armed individuals.
Attacks often target security agencies, government officials, and facilities.
Hundreds of people have been killed or injured in such attacks.
The latest attack comes about six days after gunmen killed two policemen at Okpala Junction in Ulakwo, a community in the Ngor Okpala local government area of the state.
Last month, gunmen killed five police officers and a couple in the same community and council area.
The Nigerian government has charged illegal Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of being responsible for deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.
IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra that it wants to separate from the south-east and some parts of the south-south of Nigeria.