The Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has raised alarm over the worsening insecurity in the South-east state.
The party said the insecurity in Imo state is a threat to the party’s preparation for the 2023 elections.
The party, at a world press conference on Wednesday, said that the effects of attacks and threats may disable political Parties from openly canvassing for votes, and also discourage voters from coming out to vote on election day, which appears to be the aim of the purveyors of insecurity and their sponsors in the State.
Addressing newsmen, the Chairman of Imo state PDP, Engr. Charles Ugwuh, said, “we draw your attention to the worsening insecurity in Imo state, and to the growing threat it represents to our party’s preparations for and voters’ participation in the impending general elections.
“Over the past three years, there has been a steady degeneration of the security situation in the state characterized by kidnapping, arson, attacks and gruesome killing of innocent citizens. Imo people have been traumatized by this unending reign of terror, which has created widespread fear and anxiety in the State, threatening to paralyze social and economic activities.
“In response to the people’s concern for safety, and to complement the efforts of the regular Security Agencies, the Ebubeagu Vigilante Initiative was evolved. Unfortunately, rather than deploy the outfit to address the security challenges in the state, it is being abused as an instrument of suppression and vengeance against perceived enemies of the state government.”
He pointed out that Ebubeagu, represents a worse nightmare to the people of Imo State, than the organized network of bandits and kidnappers it was established to confront.
“Indeed, since the deployment of Ebubeagu against separatists groups and agitators, there has been a spike in insecurity to new and intolerable heights, characterized by a vicious cycle of extra-judicial killings and reprisal attacks.
“The result is that Imo state has been transformed into a theatre of war and butchery, where daily extra-judicial murders have become so common that the incidents no longer merit media headline attention.
“It is indeed regrettable that over these past years, our advice to the State Government to evolve a creative solution to the insecurity in the state has gone unheeded,” he said.
Narrating further what has befell the opposition parties and how they have been hunted, Ugwuh said, “it is in this environment of terror and public anxiety that INEC recently lifted the embargo on electioneering campaigns. Since the flag-off of our campaigns in December, 2022 our efforts to reach out to the electorate through open rallies have suffered severe setbacks on account of the atmosphere of fear and anxiety that has enveloped the entire state.
“Our candidates for the elections, leaders and stakeholders of our Party are being warned and threatened by unidentified persons to stop all forms of political activities or face unpleasant consequences.
“While still in shock over the missed attack, news of the brutal and fatal attack on the country home of our House of Representatives Candidate for Ideato South/Ideato North Federal Constituency in Akokwa on 14th January 2023 by over 50 gunmen hit the airwaves.
“The combined effect of all of these threats and attacks, is that the fear for personal safety they have created may disable political Parties from openly canvassing for votes, and also discourage voters from coming out to vote on election day which appears to be the aim of the purveyors of insecurity and their sponsors in the State.”