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Gunmen Kidnap 79-year-old Zaria-based Businessman On Arrival In Umuchu, Anambra State For Christmas

There has been palpable tension in Umuchu town in Aguata Local Government area of Anambra State for the past two days following the abduction of the Zaria, Kaduna State based businessman and Managing Director of Peoples Bookshop, Ogbuehi Pius Egwuekwe, by unknown gunmen in front of his palatial home as he arrived for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

the kidnap has dampened the mood of the once boisterous town as many of the natives are choosing not to return and those who are already home are keeping off public view for fear of kidnapping gangs.

The 79-year-old Ogbuehi Egwuekwe, who was abducted on Friday, was whisked away to an unknown place, probably in order to demand for ransom.

He had arrived from his base in Zaria with his driver to his village home in Ibughubu Umuchu to celebrate this year’s Christmas with his family and to witness the wedding of his daughter.

However, the story turned sour after his driver arrived the entrance of his village home. Some heavily armed men accosted them at gun point. When the driver stopped, they were said to have opened the vehicle and forcefully took away Egwuekwe.

The matter was immediately reported to the Police. But the actions of the Police have not yielded any result yet as the victim has not been rescued, neither has any suspect arrested. To compound matters, the kidnappers have not contacted any member of the family.

The fear of the community is that people are no longer safe considering how the plot was perfected with ease without drawing the attention of members of the Vigilante group put in place.

Some members of the community suspect it was an insider who may have leaked information of the victim’s return with his driver to the village.

Ogbuehi Egwuekwe is a successful businessman who has touched the lives of many people in the community by attending to their material and health needs. No wonder since the incident happened, there has been palpable tension in the community with no traces of their whereabouts.

Umuchu is becoming a beehive of insecurity, mainly because of its location. It shares boundary with three communities in Imo State including Arondizuogu, Akokwa and Umualaoma. It also shaes boundary with Umunze, in Orumba North Local Government Area (LGA).

In fact, people are now avoiding the Umuchu-Umunze road as the forests and bushes along it have become hiding places for gunmen and other criminals who have their camps in Imo and Abia State communities that share boundaries with Umunze.  

In January 2022, gunmen killed a promising young man of the community, Vincent Ezeoguine at one of the filling stations in Nkwo market area.

About 11 months ago, the bandits struck again in Umuchu, killing an artisan at the market area.

In neighbouring Umunze community about three months ago, the bandits killed four soldiers and two others during an ambush followed by a gun duel within the Nkwo Market area on the road leading to Nkwelle Ezukala.

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