BY NATE HAKEN AND PATRICIA TAFT*
Imo state has a population of approximately 3.9 million people, according to the 2006 census. The population is predominantly Igbo (98%). The capital city of Owerri is the largest in the state. Imo is made up of 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs). Natural resources include palm oil, mahogany, crude oil, and natural gas.
Owelle Rochas Okorocha has been the governor of Imo since May 2011. In 2011, he left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to run for governor with the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) initially declared the election inconclusive due to reports of irregularities but later confirmed Okorocha’s win. After being elected, Governor Okorocha fired all 27 local government chairmen and replaced them with a transition committee. In a politically risky move, Okorocha later switched from APGA to APC, but nevertheless emerged victorious in the second round of the 2015 elections, the first round of which were initially declared inconclusive.
Violence per capita in Imo is among the lowest in the region, as is the number of fatalities per capita. Incidences of violence largely occurred in the LGAs surrounding the capital city of Owerri, many of which were inter-personal in nature. Between January 2012 and December 2013, incidents reported included criminality, abductions and vigilante/mob justice. There were also a number of fatalities associated with public unrest and reports of ritual killings in the state. The first half of 2014 was the most violent of the two-year period with a communal clash and a separate cult clash that reportedly killed dozens.
This Conflict Bulletin provides a brief snapshot of the trends and patterns of conflict risk factors at the State and LGA levels, drawing on the data available on the P4P Digital Platform for Multi-Stakeholder Engagement (www.p4p-nigerdelta.org). It represents a compilation of the data from sources listed below, not necessarily opinions of FFP or any other organization that collaborated on the production of this bulletin.
The summaries draw on data collected by FFP’s UNLocK, the Council on Foreign Relations’ NST, WANEP Nigeria, CSS/ETH Zurich, NEEWS/TMG, Nigeria Watch, and ACLED integrated on the P4P platform. They also draw on data and information from “Violence in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends,” by Patricia Taft and Nate Haken (Springer Press, April 2015).
*Hannah Blyth also contributed to this report.
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