How Fulani herdsmen abducted, killed Delta monarch
Abominable, horrible, detestable, repugnant, name it. But words are not enough to express the act that has caused agony for the people of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the State.
in Ubulu-Uku and other kingdoms, it is a taboo to kidnap a king, not to talk of killing him. Vigilante group members found his decomposing remains at the stomp of a tree in the bush at Umunede, Ika North East local government area, the boundary between Delta and Edo States. Ofulue III, a lawyer, businessperson and an ardent Christian of the Deeper Life Bible ministry was driving with a young pastor of the church, who also served as one of his aides in his Land Cruiser Jeep, along the notorious Obior/Igbodo Road when the abductors struck at a disgracefully bad spot. The bad spot, about 40 kilometers from his country home, has been a flash-point in recent times – many persons, including two Catholic Priests were kidnapped at the spot by suspected Fulani herdsmen, who more often than not lay siege there. How we identified his remains A vigilante group member, who pleaded anonymity, said they discovered two decomposing corpses in the bush but were able to identify the monarch “because of his beads and apparel,” adding, “The king’s corpse was found resting at the bottom of a palm tree.” The source, who was cornered by our correspondent in the community, said; “We could not identify the second body but the fellow had Hausa shoes on. This is a very challenging period for us in this kingdom. I was one of those who went in search of the king.” Robbery in the palace Independent investigation by Sunday Vanguard showed that HRM Ofulue III, who was 10 years on the throne this year just marked the anniversary and was duped of some money running into millions of naira and items, including royal beads by one of his houseboys from the northern part of the country. A dependable source said, “He kept N2million in the palace but his houseboy allegedly stole the money and ran away with the items.” Set-up He added, “I learned that some days after, unknown persons suspected to be the Fulani herdsmen called the king, claiming that they saw his beads and money and that he should come to collect them. They told him to drive to the notorious road and the king not knowing that it was a set-up, set out to meet with them. His fleeing houseboy linked up with the herdsmen, who talked him into arranging the monarch for ransom. However, Sunday Vanguard could not confirm whether the pastor that went with him and his driver knew that anybody invited the king or that he was on a mission to meet the kidnappers, who pretended to have found his beads. However, while a version said only he and the pastor were in the car, another said they were three, including his driver. “At the bad spot, the herdsmen, who laid ambush, came out shooting sporadically. It was obvious they were old in the game, as they led him into the bush immediately leaving his SUV on the roadside. From available information, the fleeing houseboy did not show up, but it was through him they got the monarch’s phone number with which they established contact. Deadly escape Miraculously, both the king and the pastor, managed to break out from the kidnappers’ grip a day after their abduction, but while the pastor was able to make it to Ubulu-Uku, the king could not. A villager said, the pastor told the story of how he and the monarch broke loose from their abductors, but while he, being younger was able to run with more energy, the monarch, due to his age, could not make it because of exhaustion. The king reportedly complained that he was tired and needed to rest, but the pastor ran to the community to inform the people. He gave a graphic description of the area in the bush where they took them to, but before any of the search parties could get there, the Fulani herdsmen found the king and took him away. The escape of the pastor actually raised the villagers’ hope that they could find their king alive and gave them more impetus to comb the forest in search of him, but that was not to be. The police confirmed the story of the pastor’s escape from the kidnappers den. The pastor, according to our sources, narrated how the herdsmen beat him mercilessly in the bush but spared the king because they know his status. He disclosed that they took them inside the forest in Mbiri area, closer to Umunede and that their abductors came out when the monarch’s driver slowed down the Jeep at the bad spot.