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Imo: Governor Uzodinma Vows to Uncover Perpetrators of Political Violence

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OWERRI, Nigeria — Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State vowed to bring those responsible for the spate of killings and insecurity to justice, describing the violence as politically motivated.

The governor on Friday, September 1, 2023, indicated that most of the victims were members of his All Progressives Congress, APC, administration.

“In a few weeks, we will soon unravel those behind the killings and insecurity in Imo State,” Uzodimma promised.

The statement comes as Imo State grapples with rising insecurity, including targeted killings and kidnappings, and as the governor prepares for a re-election campaign later this year.

The governor stressed that he had charged the state’s security agencies to find and hold accountable those responsible for the violence.

“It is not a coincidence that many people being killed are members of my party, APC,” Uzodimma lamented.

Not only has the violence been widespread, but it has also targeted specific individuals who were either prominent APC members or traditional rulers sympathetic to the party.

“Some traditional rulers that I sympathise with our party were also being attacked,” Uzodimma said.

The governor explicitly attributed the insecurity to politics and pleaded with those behind it to cease their activities.

“I plead with those behind the killings in Imo State, blaming and kidnapping of human beings in Imo State in the name of politics to stop,” he said.

“I said this times without number that the insecurity in Imo State is politically contrived, and those who are behind it know themselves.”

Uzodimma’s remarks underscore the tense and fraught political landscape in Imo State, one of Nigeria’s 36 states.

The governor claimed that nearly 90% of those killed in the state are APC members, suggesting that the violence is aimed solely at one political party.

As the gubernatorial election approaches, the escalating political violence raises concerns over the safety of electoral processes and participants.

Experts say that it also poses broader questions about governance and the use of violence in Nigerian politics.

“Governor Uzodimma’s claims could either be a clarion call for security agencies to act, or they could be setting the stage for a polarized election season, where accusations and insecurity could deter voter turnout,” says Dr. Olufemi Adetola, a political analyst.

“Either way, it’s a signal that politics in Imo State — and perhaps Nigeria at large — is entering a potentially dangerous phase.”

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