Following the abduction of human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, people of Iviukwe in Weppawanno kingdom in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State, the ancestral home of the lawyer, were yesterday in mourning as both Muslims and Christians embarked on dry fast for quick release of their son.
The abduction of the Asebigwe (the one that every one listens to) of Weppawanno Kingdom and the Akpakpavighidighi of Edo State came as a rude shock to members of the community who have started serious prayers to hasten his release.
Chief Ozekhome was abducted by suspected kidnappers last Friday while on his way to the village, after they killed four police officers who came to rescue him and his driver.
Elder brother of the abducted activist, High Chief Pius Ozekhome, was with elders when Vanguard visited the village, but he declined comments on the issue.
The paramount traditional ruler of Weppawanno Kingdom, Dr. George Oshiaapi Egabor, the Okumagbe of Weppawanno Kingdom, who was apparently in a pensive mood said that the people of his kingdom were devastated by the development.
He appealed to the captors to consider the fact that Chief Ozekhome was a lawyer who had been working for the downtrodden in the country.
“We are appealing that they release him for us unhurt . He is a person that has contributed to the growth of our community and has helped our sons and daughters in various capacities.
“We pray that God should touch their hearts by listening to our plea because he is one man we all love so much because of his concern for the poor and his dedication to the service of humanity.
“It is difficult to say much now but we are only appealing to them to release our son.”
Also speaking on the incident, two-time former chairman of Etsako East Local Government Council, Stanley Odidi, “We received the news when the police told the wife that they had found one of his telephones in his car as they scrolled the contacts and found the wife’s number.
“So they now called the wife to confirm that it was his car and that was how they broke the news to us in the village. The wife was in Lagos.
“Our brother is a grassroots person, he give assistance to the poor, market women, youths periodically, in fact, many of our people are saying they should come and carry them and leave Ozekhome. We have embarked on dry fasting in the community and our Muslim brothers are also doing their own.
“You can see that every where is unsually calm in this community because of the incident, that will tell you that we don’t play with Chief Ozekhome. I have never seen any community that is praying as much as we are doing right now.”