Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State has drawn attention to escalating insecurity in the state and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in the state if the situation persists.
The party also charged the national security adviser (NSA), the inspector-general of police (IGP), and the director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS) to review the entire security architecture and personnel deployed to the state to tackle the festering insecurity in the state.
The PDP made the call in a statement signed by the party chairman, Engr. Charles Ugwuh and made available to newsmen in Owerri.
The statement reads, “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.
“Unfortunately, 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.
“This is a consequence of the Governor’s continued to worry about why members of the opposition are not being targeted by unknown gunmen. In furtherance of these threats, our campaign Rally in Ahiazu Mbaise on 14th January 2023 was belatedly visited by gunmen, and would have ended in horrific tragedy, but for providential intervention.
“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.”
It said the combined effect of all of these threats and attacks is that the fear for personal safety may stop 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.
“It is worrisome that Ebubeagu, which appears currently positioned as a hit-squad under the DSS, 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 the separatist groups and agitators, there has been a spike in insecurity to new and intolerable heights, characterized by a vicious cycle of extrajudicial killings and reprisal attacks,” it said.