This edition of the weekly update spotlights organized criminality in the Niger Delta with a focus on targeted violence against traditional rulers in Imo State. According to data (see map below), targeted violence caused over 300 deaths in Imo State between January 2018 and September 2021. Recent data shows an escalation of violence against traditional rulers in the State. In October 2021, for instance, gunmen reportedly killed two traditional rulers during a meeting in Nnenasa town, Njaba LGA. In November, a traditional ruler who is also the father of a former deputy governor of the State was allegedly kidnapped by gunmen in Iho community, Ikeduru LGA. In December, a traditional leader was reportedly abducted and killed by gunmen in Atta kingdom, Njaba LGA. Separately, a traditional ruler was allegedly kidnapped by gunmen in Mbutu kingdom, Aboh Mbaise LGA. More recently, on December 12, 2021, the traditional leaders of Amagu Ihube and Ihitte Ihube communities in Okigwe LGA were reportedly abducted by gunmen. A youth leader was also allegedly kidnapped on the same day in Umulolo town, Okigwe LGA
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