By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A
“Gunmen Attack Imo Police Headquarters, Kill Two Cops, Injure Others”. “Horror As Ex-Owerri NBA Chairman N.H Nwankwo Esq Is Slaughtered In His Owerri Office”. “Army And Militants In Shootout At Orlu, Many Feared Dead, Buildings Razed Down”. “Polytechnic Nekede Student Killed By Caretaker Over Rent”. “Bishop And His Driver Kidnapped In Imo”!
Those are some of the horrendous back-to-back headlines that are read about Imo State in the recent times. No day passes nowadays without such horrific tales in Imo State.
Obviously, such news signal the scary steady rise in the rate of insecurity in the State. It appears life has continually turned meaningless as people take lives of fellow human beings with careless abandon in the State.
It portends of an unsavoury negative trend which is not in the known character of Imo State. Historically, Imo is counted among the comity of most peaceful States in the federation.
It’s so sad and very unfortunate that since the turn of the year 2020, when Senator Hope Uzodimma was made governor by the Supreme Court, Imo State has continued to earn reputation for being very insecure.
Investors and businesses such the hitherto thriving hospitality industry in the now suffer drought in patronage as more and more people distance themselves from Imo, for fear of losing their precious lives.
Residents don’t sleep. And those that sleep, do so pretentiously, with both eyes open. Ndimo now don’t who, how and when gunmen will strike and cut down lives.
Honestly, since 1976, when Imo State was created the past one year under the watch of Uzodimma is turning into the most insecure to lives and property in the State.
Life has continually turned too short and brutish in Imo State since 2020 as if Hobbes had this State in view when he postulated his theory on the terrible condition of humans and the society in his era centuries ago.
And only Uzodimma’s nonchalant, dishonest and insincere plans, policies, programmes and projects for security could account for the Imo State turning into one of the most insecure places in Nigeria.
It’s too sad that in the face of the increasing spate of bad news of violent killings and other crimes no arrests of the criminals are made and no felons are paraded as in the past.
From the benefit of experience, hindsight and retrospection, Imo people still testify that this State was very peaceful and accommodating in the seven and half months that the PDP RebuildImo administration was in power in Imo State (May 29, 2019 – January 14, 2020).
The then duly elected governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, shortly after his inauguration convened a stakeholders meeting in Owerri on engendering enhanced security in the State.
That meeting culminated into the setting up of “Operation Iron Gate” by the Joint Security Agencies in the State. The resultant effect was that the last quarter of 2019 and the Yuletide became rated as the most peaceful in the history of the State.
To witness a total loss of all of those security achievements by Governor Emeka Ihedioha in Uzodimma’s one year in office is most perplexing and worrisome to Imo people.
As it is now, it won’t be out of place to join reputable pundits in advising Uzodimma to declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the State. That may be the only way to stem the high wave and tide of waste of lives by force and violence. God save Imo people!
By God’s grace, Imo State must be rebuilt!!