Over the last two years, Isinweke in the Ihitte-Uboma local government area of Imo State has been on the receiving end of recurring violent attacks by unidentified gunmen, a situation that has become a source of worry for dwellers in the community.  

People of the area now live in constant fear, unsure where the next attack will occur as the unknown gunmen rampage with regularity in the area. The situation has crippled the economy of the region, with many fleeing the community for safety. 

In one of such incidents, on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, arsonists killed one person in an attack that also saw them burn several vehicles. Eyewitnesses reported that the gunmen raided the community and allegedly burned shuttle buses, private cars, and motorcycles, and shot an occupant of one of the vehicles, leaving him in a pool of blood. 

Earlier on March 9, 2021, the Ishinweke police station and the local government headquarters were set on fire by gunmen following the killing of a young man in the area a day earlier. Again, on April 14, 2022, gunmen attacked the office of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) killing one official. 

It was gathered that the official identified as Mr. Nwokorie Anthony was gunned down during the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise (CVR) exercise Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area of the state. Reports had it that two other officers were missing.

A community source told our correspondent that the gunmen always operated without fear of being confronted by security operatives, creating the semblance of a conquered territory. He also gave more insight into recent deadly attacks.

“It’s an unfortunate situation here in Ishinweke as it has been one violent attack after another. What worries us most is that the gunmen now operate freely without fear. We seem to be a captured territory and people.

“On August 1, 2023, Isinweke was again terrorized. Along the Orieagu-Isiweke- Umuahia expressway, they set two vehicles on fire and zoomed off. It has just been a recurring decimal.”

A rural dweller Agnes Udokwu recounted the difficulty of living in an area under regular bombardment by hoodlums. 

She said, “We live in fear every day, not knowing what will happen next. A lot of people have lost their lives or means of livelihood due to the attacks. I wish the government could come to our rescue,” she cried out.