The increasing rate of insecurity in Imo state has reached alarming dimension with women and children
at the mercy of rampaging child thieves and kidnappers.
At the sleepy community of Umuleke, Okwudor in Njaba LGA of the state, the residents of the area are yet to come to terms with what befell one them who was gruesomely murdered by suspected child thieves early morning of yesterday. A young woman and mother of two (names withheld) met dare-devil criminals who murdered her in cold blood.
Trumpeta learnt that the victim, a widow played host to one of the suspects, who slept in the room the previous night. In the wee hours of yesterday at about 4.00 am, the suspect attempted to leave but with the younger baby of the deceased woman said to be about three years old.
In the process of dragging the baby out to unknown destination, the woman raised alarm which may have infuriated the baby thieves to hack her down with several gunshots before he sped away with the child.
A huge crowd of sympathizers consisting mainly of the residents of the area gathered before the community vigilantes and police operatives appeared.
However, efforts were made to nab the fleeing suspect. It was at that point that the state governor who was on his way to Nwangele in continuation of his tour made a detour to the scene of the incident.
Trumpeta learnt that the suspect who is said to be from Owerri Ebeiri in Orlu LGA and a road side car washer near the road leading to Imo State University Teaching Hospital, IMSUTH, Orlu, while facing the state governor claimed that the baby he kidnapped under gun point belongs to him and he has made serious efforts to take back the child but to no avail following opposition from the slain mother.
In anger, the governor gave him 24 hours to produce the stolen baby as security aides in Okorocha’s convoy took him to Owerri for possibility of handing him over to security agencies for further investigations.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer Joy Elomoko (SP) confirmed the incident and went further to state that the suspect has been arrested while investigation is on.
In a similar development, a middle aged female Keke operator in Owerri, who gave her name as Chidimma Emmanuel (Mrs) by now is expected to be cooling off her head at the police net for alleged child stealing.
The mother of three was apprehended by an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps attached to the Imo Government House, on Wetheral Road round-about on Wednesday 2nd April 2014, in her attempt to elope with a 3-year old boy,
The security operative who gave his name as Joseph Ogazi told Trumpeta that they were alerted by some vigilant passers-by who noticed the shoddy manner the accused was keeping a little boy at the back of her Keke. He informed our reporter that when they stopped the woman in her attempt to escape the scene, the mob who gathered gave her a thorough beating during interrogation. It was discovered that the little boy was not in anyway related to her and she could not give any reasonable explanation why she kept the boy in her custody.
When our reporter who was at the scene of the incident spoke to the accused on the matter, Mrs Emmanuel claimed that she was not stealing the boy rather that she kept the boy behind her Keke due to cold whether as she maintaining that the child in question is her biological child. “He is my child oh”. She shouted.
The police who rushed to the scene had to take the woman who gave her address as Akanchawa road, old Nekede to the police station, where she explained that she was living with her husband at the said address until few months ago when she had a serious quarrel with her husband which made her park out to a separate place.
When the police PPRO, SP Joy Elemoko was contacted, she said the matter is yet to get to her table.
Meanwhile, concerned citizens of the state have appealed to government to take more drastic measures to stem the tide of child trafficking in the state.
Recall that similar incident was reported recently where a Keke operator eloped with five little school children in the pretence of taking them to school but never came back brought them back parents and the public are advised to be more vigilant about the keke operators and report suspicious movement to security agents.
Also, there were recorded incidents where women were shot at by suspected child thieves and their children carted away in various parts of the state.
By okey alozie