Residents of Ogbovine Akpugo autonomous community in Nkanu West LGA of Enugu State were on Tuesday thrown into shock over the killing of the traditional ruler, Igwe Stephen Nwatu. Nwatu, a retired police officer, died in the early hours of Tuesday, after he was attacked on Monday night by some persons suspected to be his subjects. Before his death, the traditional ruler was engaged in a running battle with some of his subjects.
The conflict between the traditional ruler and his subjects was said to have started two years ago, but escalated recently when the state government disbursed N5 million each to all the 450 autonomous communities in Enugu State.
Although the cheques for the state government’s ‘One Community, One Project’ scheme were handed over to traditional rulers, Igwe Nwatu was said to have been denied the cheque for his community, following the conflict between him and his subjects.
Nwatu reportedly walked out on the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Festus Uzor and other state government officials in anger. It was gathered that the state government invited the traditional ruler and his aggrieved subjects to a peace meeting on Monday night, but before the meeting could hold, a fight broke out in the community.
In the ensuing milieu, the traditional ruler was said to have been severely beaten up by his subjects.
He died in a hospital in the early hours of Tuesday as a result of injuries he sustained from the beating.