OWERRI, Nigeria – Former Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state narrowly evaded an assassination attempt last Friday, bringing into sharp focus the precarious state of security in the region.
The incident took place along the Ihube community on the Okigwe-Enugu expressway.
The security convoy, said to be comprised of security operatives from the Enugu state government, was enlisted to provide Okorocha with security but fell prey to an unexpected attack. One person was tragically killed during the incident.
Okorocha spoke about the harrowing ordeal two days later, on Sunday, June 18, 2023, at the birthday celebration of Samuel Anyanwu, the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Imo state.
“Why is it that after spending two days in Enugu, peacefully, it was only when I came to Imo state that I was attacked?” Okorocha asked, visibly distraught by the incident.
“The convoy that brought me to Imo — when they were going back to Enugu, they were attacked, and one person was killed. Why must it be so in Imo state?”
Okorocha’s questions echoed in the silent crowd, highlighting the increasingly tense state of affairs in the region.
The former governor also took the opportunity to express his dissatisfaction with the escalating violence in the state. “I am not happy with what is happening in Imo state,” he confessed. “This is so bad in this Imo state.”
The security convoy had previously escorted Okorocha to the burial ceremony of the mother of the former governor, Emeka Ihedioha, and also dropped him off at his Spibat mansion in Owerri.
The attack happened as they were returning to Enugu.
This incident serves as a sobering reminder of the volatility of the political climate in Imo state and raises hard questions about the state of security and governance in the region.
As investigations continue, the residents of Imo state are left to ponder the implications of this attack on their safety and the future of their state.