The increasing level of insecurity in the entire South East states of Nigeria has become a cause for deep concern as it’s obvious that a permanent solution is obscure.
Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo and Enugu state has over time witnessed a concerning surge in insecurity, largely attributed to the activities of unknown gunmen and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which has caused serious setbacks on economic activities in the region.
The increasing rate of insecurity has prompted the authorities to intensify efforts, leading to the declaration of Emeke Ofegwu, Ikenna Ekem, and Amuta Chisom and several other suspects as wanted individuals in Anambra State.
Other notable suspects have been arrested in Imo while some persons are still at large in the state and Ebonyi State. Enugu launched a manhunt but operatives are handicapped in the arrest of the suspects.
In Abia State, Ohafia community and its environs have received a larger share of the menace judging from the alarming rise in violent attacks, kidnappings, and destruction of properties, causing fear and tension among residents. Investigative reports have shown that various attacks in the communities are often perpetrated by unidentified gunmen who strike swiftly and disappear without a trace as evidence of their mayhem is physically and emotionally evident among their victims and survivors.
The perpetrators of these attacks largely remain faceless, making it difficult for security agencies to apprehend them and bring them to face the full wrath of the law. The motives behind these attacks remain under scrutiny.
Speculations and reports also have it that the attacks are believed to be connected to the agitations of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist group demanding the secession of the South East from Nigeria.
It could be recalled that the IPOB, led by Nnamdi Kanu, has been campaigning for an independent nation of Biafra, arguing for the preservation of Igbo identity and culture. While the group maintains it is a non-violent movement, there have been concerns about increasing radicalization and the emergence of splinter groups resorting to violent means.
The Nigerian Army and other security forces have been deployed to strategic locations within the South East, aimed at quelling the attacks and maintaining law and order also in a bid to apprehend those responsible and curtail their activities.
Suspects like Fidel Ndu, the youth leader of Okpo Ihechiowa in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State are among the names released believed to be involved in the recent acts. These individuals have been declared wanted, and an elaborate manhunt is underway to bring them to justice. Authorities have urged citizens with any information to come forward, guaranteeing their anonymity and pledging rewards for credible tips leading to successful arrests.
The declining security situation has raised concerns among the local population, who are feeling the brunt of insecurity. Schools have been shut down, businesses have suffered, and movements have been restricted, especially in the most affected areas.
Due to the unprecedented gunshots in Ohafia every day have led to the migration of residents from one part of the community to the other while Jack Ndu, Obasi Aki, and Kalu Ekeoma are on the run over the suspicion of unrest.
For fear of the unknown and not to be victimised in the ugly situation, most young men have left the region over fear of undue labelling and apprehended by security operatives.
In finding a lasting solution and permanent halt to the declining situation, efforts are being made by the government at various levels to restore normalcy in the region. Dialogue has been initiated between government representatives and community leaders in affected areas, aiming to address grievances and find lasting solutions to the growing concerns of people of the affected communities and the state at large.
In response to the ugly situation, the federal government has expressed its commitment to protecting lives and property, while restoring peace and stability to the region. Collaborative efforts by security agencies, community leaders, and the general population are deemed crucial in ensuring a lasting solution to the insecurity issues plaguing the South East.
Thus, the solution to the insecurity situation remains unravelled, but quick and effective measures must be taken to address the root causes, restore trust, and provide lasting security for the people of the South East, which will serve as a guarantee that peace will be restored for the economic growth and development of the communities and South East states in general.