The kidnap of Bishop Chikwe and increasing insecurity in Imo
There was a time Imo State was regarded as a well secured place, both for residence and business owners. During that period many people preferred rushing back to the state, when any form of security is breached at where they stay.
This can be attested by the great population of people who came to Imo at the height of Bokoharam insurgency in the Northern part of Nigeria few years ago.
But in recent times the situation is gradually getting worse as many of the people are no longer sure of their safety.
The easy way Auxiliary Bishop of Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Rev. Dr Moses Chikwe and his driver was kidnapped on the 27th of December ln Owerri, amazed many people.
In fact, the kidnappers were even bold enough as to return his car and his bishopric regalia to Assumpta Cathedral’s front gate after the abduction without anyone confronting them.
The Bishop’s kidnap led to a lot of outcry from people, both in Nigeria and beyond, including, various Christian organisations, government officials and Pope Francis who addressed the issue during his New Year Angelus message in Vatican, few hours before the bishop was released the same day.
Also, just some days ago, a prominent businessman and contractor of Imo State origin, his police orderlies and driver were brutally murdered.
Initially there was a video trending online which showed corpses of unknown persons reported to have been shot and killed by yet to be identified gunmen on the Owerri-Onitsha road, Ihiala.
However, a day after the distasteful video went viral, reports emerged that the victim was a known business mogul and contractor, Chief Leo Anuforo from Okohia Isiekenensi, Ideato South LGA of Imo State.
The deceased, who is a community leader, socialite and CEO of the Loragi Consortium, was shot dead alongside his driver and two police escorts.
It was gathered that their attackers double crossed a Hilux vehicle conveying them before bullets were rained at the vehicle killing all occupants instantly.
Further reports also indicated that after the rain of bullets which found the man and his team dead, their assailants came down to ransack the car before rushing away with important items including their phones.
Again, few days to Christmas, at a street in Uratta area of Owerri North LGA, a man who was driving home with his wife and children at about 7:30pm was blocked at the entrance of his house by unknown gunmen who kidnapped his wife, children and drove them away in his car.
The children were later dropped at a church gate at Orji town, while the kidnappers moved away with the wife.
It took about five days for the wife to be released after payment of ransom.
There are some other cases of recent insecurity issues in in the state.
Some people have attributed it to the low moral of police men after the nationwide SARS protests, which affected them tremendously.
However, the government can do better in securing the lives and properties of the citizens.
Let this New Year be a good one for the people of Imo State, in terms of security.