Kidnapping and assassination have resurfaced in Imo in a very alarming scale. For the past five weeks, blood thirsty assassins have been on the prowl in the Eastern Heartland, which used to pride herself the safest, most peaceful and serene state in the federation.
Following series of cold blooded murder, suspected to have political undertone, due to the political relevance of the victims in their respective communities, the Governor Rochas Okorocha has asked the Commissioner of Police to personally lead investigation into the latest incident that claimed the life of Sunny Ejiagwu, the factional chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ideato North who was killed along Akokwa- Arondizuogu road two weeks ago. Earlier cases of recent assassinations include, Chief Amos Akano, a chieftain of the APC and Chidi Eburuaja, Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Owere Nkworji Ward. To aid apprehending culprits, government has announced a N20 million reward for anyone who will give useful information concerning the killings.
Our security agents, especially the police don’t seem to be doing much. Instead of deploying them to be on the beat, the police authorities leave them to cluster at checkpoints harassing, intimidating and extorting money from drivers. While they pretend to be checking vehicle particulars, their real motive remains extortion of money. This is done openly and seem to have gained normalcy.
One wonders how kidnappers could ferrate their victims across the numerous checkpoints all over our state without being caught. All this has resulted in a palpable fear in Imo State, as people do not know who next the criminals will abduct or kill. This is especially so as these criminals seem to operate freely without being checked.
We recall that Imo State experienced a similar situation seven years ago. We are sad that kidnapping and politically motivated killings seem to be on the increase whenever general elections in the country are approaching. Instances abound of cold-blooded murder that took place in 2003 with political undertones like the three latest ones in Imo State.
Our government (both federal and state) should wake up. Security of life and property is the primary function of government at all levels. Any Government that fails to provide these essentials has failed its people. Afterall, what is the security vote given to the Chief Executive of the State for? It is meant to enhance security for him and the citizens.
The Leader Editorial sometime ago called on government and people of the state to take community policing seriously to stem the tide of insecurity. We abhor a situation where traditional rulers, who are the chief security officers of their respective communities, scuttle security efforts by failing to expose criminals in their domain.
We do not want insecurity in Imo State to escalate as the elections draw near. All hands should be on deck to fight crime.