President-General of Oruku Town Union in Nkanu East local government area of Enugu State, Chief Linus Nwatu, was shot dead on Saturday by gunmen who have been terrorising the community for weeks.
Nwatu, a retired police officer, was shot dead by the unidentified gunmen who broke into his house where he resided with his family members after his retirement.
The President-General was killed on a day that the community had scheduled to bury a member of the town’s neighborhood watch, Dennis Ike (a.k.a Peace), who was shot dead by gunmen in the town on June 6, 2022.
The gunmen laid an ambush and killed Ike, who was riding motorcycle at the time, and set his corpse and motorbike ablaze before proceeding to destroy houses of some persons in Oruku town.
Undisclosed sources said that the attack on Nwatu was not unconnected with his role in the lingering communal conflict in Oruku.
The traditional ruler of Oruku community, Igwe Emmanuel Mbah, and several natives had been murdered by hoodlums loyal to a faction in the communal dispute from December 2020 till date.
The traditional ruler was assassinated on December 26, 2020 and his killers are yet to be brought to book.
The assassination later sparked a disorder that caused destruction of lives and property in the community which prompted Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to institute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the royal father’s killing.
The murdered Town Union President-General , Chief Nwatu, had alleged while testifying before the commission that “23 collaborators and sponsors were fueling cultist activities in Oruku” to destroy lives and property.
He had urged the commission headed by Justice Harold Eya to look into the names listed in his memorandum as the masterminds of Oruku crisis and bring them to book.
The Justice Harold Eya panel had since submitted its findings.
Many natives who deserted the community following series of attacks and arson, have not returned to their homes while those who remained in Oruku and neighbouring towns live in fear though security operatives conduct patrol activities in the area periodically.