AFRICA/NIGERIA - Assaults on road construction sites in Imo State. The Bishop of Okigwe wonders who has an interest in blocking development in the area

Monday, 12 December 2022 development   armed groups  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The bishop of Okigwe, Msgr. Solomon Amanchukwu Amatu regretted the attacks on the construction company that works on the improvement of the Owerri-Umuahia and Owerri-Okigwe roads, in the State of Imo, in the south-east of Nigeria.
During the homily of the Mass on Sunday, December 11, the Ordinary of Okigwe asked himself who has an interest in blocking the work of a project that aims to contribute to the development of Imo State.
Between 9 and 11 December, armed gangs killed two policemen and an army officer who were providing security for construction workers along the Owerri-Okiigwe road and the Owerri Umuahia road. During the assault on the Owerri-Okiigwe road, the assailants, who arrived aboard three vehicles, opened fire and killed two people in charge of security and then kidnapped two workers who worked on behalf of the company in charge of upgrading the road communication.
The two men were released today, December 12. In a statement, the Imo State authorities say that the victims of the kidnapping have regained their freedom thanks to a joint effort by the security forces.
Upgrading Imo State's road network is at the heart of Governor Hope Uzodinma's development policy. In addition to improving existing roads, in April the governor announced the construction of 10 new roads to connect various rural and non-rural areas in Imo State.
Archbishop Amatu praised the improvement of road infrastructures which, according to him, have made "movements in the state easier and faster". The Bishop expressed the appreciation of the community of the Okigwe diocese for the reconstruction of the Owerri-Okigwe road, in particular for the completion of the first phase of the 56-kilometer expressway, already commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari, stating that it has made life more easy for the inhabitants of rural areas.
Since the end of 2020, attacks by "unknown gunmen" have followed a series of attacks in the State, mainly focused on security forces including police, army, customs, civil defense and DSS (the security service). The attacks then spread to government and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, as well as religious leaders, politicians and ordinary citizens. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/12/2022)