The Evils that Men Do: Osisikankwu’s Reign of Terror in Igboland

The Evils that Men Do: Osisikankwu's Reign of Terror in Igboland The Evils that Men Do: Osisikankwu's Reign of Terror in Igboland

In the annals of history, there are stories that remind us of the chilling truth behind the adage, “The evils that men do, live after them.” The tale of Obiọma Nwankwo, better known as Osisikankwu, is one such narrative that haunts the memories of those who lived through it.

Osisikankwu’s reign of terror, which spanned from 2007 to 2010, cast a dark shadow over Abia State, particularly the city of Aba and its surroundings. The horror he inflicted upon the people was nothing short of a nightmare. Kidnappings, torture, and extortion became a daily reality for the residents of Aba, and fear gripped the hearts of many.

As someone who lived through those tumultuous years in Aba, I can testify to the nightmarish experiences we endured. The city, once vibrant and bustling, was transformed into a ghost town, as its inhabitants fled in fear of becoming the next victim of Osisikankwu’s ruthless gang.

Innocent individuals were plucked from their daily lives, families torn apart, and livelihoods destroyed. The heart of Aba, near the Ariaria International Market, witnessed the horrifying abduction of numerous people, including a young man named Igodo. He was fortunate to be released, but only after his family paid a hefty ransom. This was just one of many stories of anguish and despair.

Osisikankwu, hailing from Ogwe in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, orchestrated a criminal syndicate comprising approximately 3,000 individuals, all dedicated to abductions and violence. Their primary targets were the affluent, expatriates, and high-ranking government officials in Abia State. The government, led by Dr. Theodore Ahamefula Orji, found itself powerless in the face of this onslaught.

The reign of terror extended beyond Abia State, as Osisikankwu’s gang kidnapped foreign nationals, including British and Colombian citizens, working in the region. Ransoms were paid for their release, but the scars left behind were immeasurable.

The horrors continued with the abduction of German and Chinese nationals, along with Nigerian workers, and a journalist and their driver, who were travelling through Aba. Ransoms in the millions were paid for their release, illustrating the financial and emotional toll that Osisikankwu’s actions exacted on his victims.

The darkest day arrived when Osisikankwu’s gang, under the leadership of a ruthless thug named ‘Okwute’ Stone, launched a brazen attack on five commercial banks in the Osisioma area of Aba. This bloodshed resulted in the death of police officers and security personnel, and the city was left in a state of shock.

More incidents followed, including the abduction of a senior pastor, the killing of an Indian national, and the tragic abduction and murder of Dr. Stanley Uche, a gynaecologist and hospital owner. The horrors seemed never-ending.

But the breaking point came on September 27 when Osisikankwu’s gang abducted 15 schoolchildren from Abayi International School. The world watched in horror, and the Nigerian military had no choice but to intervene. The children were ultimately released unharmed, but this incident brought the nation to its knees.

Osisikankwu’s reign of terror finally came to an end when a Joint Military Task Force, deployed by President Goodluck Jonathan, engaged his gang in a fierce battle in the Ugwuati Evil Forest. Osisikankwu met his end, and the people of Aba celebrated. His death was a triumph of light over darkness.

However, the scars he left behind still linger. The adage holds true, for the evils that men do indeed live after them. Osisikankwu’s legacy of terror continues to cast a long shadow over the memory of those dark days in Igboland. It serves as a stark reminder that in the face of such darkness, unity, and the strength of the human spirit can ultimately prevail.


Written by Nwokwu Chukwuemeka (Obinwannem News correspondent Ebonyi State)
Date: November 03, 2023
Published by Ugwu Okechukwu (Obinwannem ndi Igbo)

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