FIC Report (Abia State) – Government at all levels have been called to swing into action in order to prevent a fast rising menace of insecurity which is gradually sweeping the country, Nigeria off it’s feet and urged Governor Ikpeazu to expedite action towards the high rate of insecurity in Abia State too.
After two months of incarceration in kidnappers’ captivity, hundreds of Women from Umuopara Clan in Umuahia South LGA of Abia State on Tuesday, August 8, 2022 staged a peaceful demonstration, pleading to those that kidnapped their son and also a renowned medical doctor, Prof Uwadinachi Iweha, to release him immediately and without conditions.
Women of Ahia Asa, Umuopara clan in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State took to the streets to protest the continued detention of Professor Uwadinachi Iweha.
Professor Iweha, a medical doctor was Kidnapped by unknown gunmen in front of his house on Sunday, June 5, 2022, and has not been seen since then, thus raising fears of his safety.
The Women who marched to the Palace of one of the Traditional Rulers in Umuopara Clan, Eze Godfrey Ibekanma to express their anger and bitterness, said their illustrious son, Prof Iweha, has not been released by his abductors.
Speaking during the event, the Women Leader of Umuopara Ahia Asa, Mrs Sally Ukauwa, represented by Dame Victoria Asomugha, explained that it has been a sad, bitter and uneventful episode to all Umuopara sons and daughters since news of his abduction was broken to them, adding that what they termed a mere kidnap incident has become an incident of a long nightmare for all Umuopara sons and daughters that refuses to end.
According to them, since that ill-fated incident occurred “nothing has been heard about his whereabouts till date”. “Our son left his house to worship God, they called him from the church; he went back home and till date we have not seen him. We want him back; he’s a son we’re proud off. We’re also calling on government and security agencies to expedite action and ensure that he is released immediately”.
In his comment, the Traditional Ruler of Ezeleke Autonomous Community, Umuopara Clan, HRM Eze Godfrey Ibekanma, disclosed that the 14 autonomous communities in Umuopara Clan are together in the request to release him, adding that a second protest by the men of the Clan was being planned and that it will take off from his Palace immediately after that of the Women.
He described Prof Iweha , the first Medical Doctor in the Community and the Provost of the College of Medicine, Gregory University Uturu (GUU) Abia State, as a respected son of the community, adding that the abduction occurred right in front of his residence on that fateful Sunday, June 5, 2022 as he came back from church.
“It’s a big blow and also devastating to the entire communities that make up Umuopara Ahia Asaa. Government should do something on the worsening cases of insecurity across the nation. Something must be done now”, the Monarch warned.
The Traditional Ruler acknowledged that government and the Security Agencies have worked assiduously since the incident occurred, pointing out his own people and in fact all Umuopara at Home and in the Diaspora have also contributed their quota to pave way for his release but to no avail.
“Abia State government has even placed a bounty of N5 million to whoever will give information to his whereabouts. As long as we have not seen him, we’ll continue to look for him; we have faith that we’ll find him. After all, no one should get lost in the house of God. We’re also appealing to the Abia State government and security agencies to do more to ensure his release”.
The Wife of the victim, Mrs. Ngozi Iweha, lamented that the kidnap incident took place in front of their house as he was negotiating to enter his country home at Ezeleke Community in Umuopara Clan on his return from church.
Her words, “We are traumatized. The past two months have been months in hell for all Members of Iweha family. We’re pleading with those holding him to please release him alive for us and we are also begging the government and security agencies to ensure his release from his abductors”.
Contributing, the President General of the Ezeleke Community, Maduakolam Odimgba also called on the abductors of the renowned Professor of Medicine to release him without conditions.
Meanwhile, the Iweha family has given details of the incident that led to the abduction of the renowned Medical Doctor.
In a press statement signed by his first Son, Engr. Chukwudi Iweha on behalf of the family, the Iweha family revealed that the kidnappers called them the next day after the incident and demanded a ransom, pointing out that after the payment of a huge ransom which they demanded, his abductors still kept him in their custody.
He said “after protesting at the Governor’s House, Umuahia, the Nigerian Medical Association, Abia State chapter went on strike for three days.
The NMA Chairman, Dr Okwuonu and HRH Godfrey Ibeakanma (Eze Ukwu I of Ezeleke) have been very helpful to the family in writing and pushing the Security Agencies and government to look for him.
“The security forces have been working with some results, but nine weeks have passed and we the family and many friends have been mounting pressure on them to continue to investigate the matter to its conclusion”.
“The Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has done a press release and offered a N5 million reward on information leading to his return. The Umuopara Clan Women also held a protest in the Communities on the 25th of July 2022, protesting for his release from the abductors, and they are doing the same again today.
“Prayers have been offered by the Methodist Church, the village and many other Christian Churches.
“As a family, we are not able to discern the motive behind this act or to even point any accusing fingers at anybody. We have our trust in God that he will return and be reunited with us in good health.
“We appeal to the media to create further awareness of our painful and traumatizing situation, with the hope that anyone with information will come forward and it will lead to the rescue or release of our Father”.