The traditional rulers were said to be holding a meeting at the Njaba local government area of the state when the gunmen opened fire on them.
Reporting the incident, The Punch stated that three of the monarchs were killed while many others were left with varying degrees of injuries.
However, the police said only two of the monarchs have been confirmed dead. Below is their name:
- Eze E. Anayochukwu Durueburuo, Obi 1 of Okwudor autonomous community
- Eze Sampson Osunwa of Ihebineowerre autonomous community
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Daily Trust also reported that the police spokesperson in the state, Mike Abattam, said the two monarchs listed above were confirmed dead on the spot while the wounded have been taken to hospital for treatment.
Governor Uzodimma reacts
Meanwhile, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo state has reacted to the ugly incident.
In a Facebook post late Tuesday evening, the governor said:
"The news of the attack on Traditional Rulers of Njaba Local Government Area by some hoodlums, which resulted into some casualties, came to me with a rude shock and this is a clear exhibition of wickedness and desecration of sacred stool.
"I commiserate with the people of Njaba over this incident as I vow on my honor to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. This new dimension to banditry would not be allowed to flourish on our soil."
Killings in Imo: Perpetrators will be umasked
Earlier, Governor Uzodimma, pained by the recent killing of security operatives and extensive destruction of property at Izombe in Oguta local government area of Imo state, vowed that the perpetrators of the mayhem would be unmasked and brought to justice.
He also promised that his government will set up a Panel of Inquiry that will look into the immediate and remote causes of the crises and make recommendations that will help stop further occurrences.
Addressing newsmen in the company of military and police authorities, the governor expressed dismay over the ugly incident, particularly a situation where bandits confronted the military patrol, burnt their vehicle, abducted and killed two soldiers, and made away with their rifles.