The governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, said the security situation in his state is ‘better’ when compared with “what is going on in other parts of Nigeria”.
“I can even tell you that the Imo case is better, apart from one or two cases that involved very important personalities. There has never been a time that 20 persons died (were killed) at a time or school children were kidnapped, and all that,” Mr Uzodinma told reporters at the Presidential Villa after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is not clear which state(s) the governor was specifically referring to as there have been several killings across the nation in recent months including high profile cases of school children being kidnapped especially in parts of the north.
IPOB, a pro-Biafra group, which has been proscribed by the Nigerian government, has a high concentration of its members and supporters in Imo State which appears to be the epicentre of the group’s activities in the country’s South-east region.
Apart from the frequent deadly attacks on security officials, there have been reports of police, including the Nigerian military, carrying out indiscriminate killings and arrests of civilians in the state.
The recent killing of Ahmed Gulak, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and a former political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, in Owerri highlighted the level of insecurity in the state.
Governor Uzodinma’s country home in the state was attacked in April by gunmen who set ablaze part of the building.
“We have been doing our best to see that cases of security breaches are reduced to the barest minimum if not eliminated,” said Governor Uzodinma while speaking with the reporters at the Presidential Villa.
The governor said insecurity is a nationwide challenge. He, however, said Imo was relatively safe now for people to visit and also do business.