January 26, 2023

Beheading of the LG boss in Imo State

LAST Monday, January 23, 2023, came the shocking news of the barbaric beheading of the kidnapped Sole Administrator of Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, Chris Ohizu. Ohizu was said to have been butchered on Sunday after the N6 million demanded by his abductors as ransom had been paid.

The chilling act was videoed with Ohizu’s phone and thereafter published on his WhatsApp status with the message that there will be no election in the country next month. He was kidnapped on Friday alongside two others after the criminals had burnt his country home in Imoko community of Arondizuogu.

As usual, the spokesperson for the Police in the state confirmed the incident with the usual Nigeria Police cliché: “Investigation is ongoing.” If any investigation was ever conducted by Nigerian security agencies on the numerous killings in the country, especially in Imo, the results are hardly disclosed to Nigerians.

It defies every logic that evils of this magnitude would be happening in a territory under the authority of a government with little or no appropriate response.

But the people cannot be fooled, no matter how those behind these heinous crimes may try to mask their motives and their sponsors. The only way the security agencies can absolve themselves of complicity in the ongoing reign of terror in Imo State is to unmask those behind it.

So long as they continue to fail in that task, it will be difficult for them to convince Nigerians and the world that they have no hand in the Imo State killings, which many perceive as designed to instill fears into the electorate to stop them from coming out on the election days to cast their votes.

The argument becomes more tenable when one considers the absence of any friction between the various security agencies at both the state and Federal levels. 

Ruled by the same party that controls the security agencies at federal level, the cooperation and synergy required to track down those behind the bloodshed in Imo State should have been taken for granted.

As has been noted in an earlier editorial by Vanguard, the Federal Government should use its constitutional authority to secure the country, including Imo State, between now and throughout the period of the coming general elections.

Government has the needed human and material resources to track down the killers in Imo State, as well as in the other parts of the country. Even if it claims to be deficient in numerical strength of policemen and soldiers, a lot can be done with intelligence gathering.