Elections: How Niger Delta Political Activist Escaped Assassination **Family Worry About Imahia’s Safety, Whereabouts

Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –By Emmanuel-Bertrams Esegbue (Crime Reporter)  

The whereabout of Comrade Ifeanyi Henry Imahia, a fiery political activist and media practitioner, who went into hiding since November 2014, following attempts made by political thugs on his life; remain unknown.

Comrade Imahia’s disappearance is not unconnected with several newspaper articles he published on the tense political atmosphere which engulfed Niger Delta States especially, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States during the campaign periods of the 2015 General elections when he raised alarm over the clandestine activities of the opposition parties to unleash violence in the area.

The fiery writer alleged that the godfathers of the then opposition party were stockpiling arms in preparation of the political process, to intimidate voters and forcefully hijack the electoral materials to rig the elections against the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the key Niger Delta States of Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States.

Comrade Imahia, then resident in Ogbegonogo Area of Asaba, the capital of Delta State of Nigeria was an active social critic who was believed to be sympathetic to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and one of the apostles of Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, under the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which is now in opposition in Nigeria.

The nation was literarily on fire during the period of the electioneering campaigns for the Presidential and Governorship elections. This was to the extent that active and vocal loyalists and supporters of the two major political parties, the PDP and the APC, had to look beyond their shoulders at all times.

Our reporter was reliably informed that the vexatious articles which incurred the ire of the godfathers of the opposition parties in the zone, claimed that a particular opposition party leader (name withheld) had received a shipment of arms and ammunition which he was stockpiling to be used in unleashing violence during the election.

The source, according to the article, also claimed that the political godfather was equally recruiting political thugs and acquiring fake Police and Army uniforms in preparation for violence targeted at loyalists of the ex-president’s party in the Niger Delta States.

Following the publication of this article, Comrade Henry Imahia started receiving text messages on his mobile phone with threats to kill him.

Not later than five days after the publication, Comrade Imahia was at home at his Ogbogonogo residence in Asaba, the Capital City of Delta State, when two black SUV cars suddenly stopped at his residence and six armed men swiftly came out of the cars and started shooting sporadically, thereby causing residents of the neighbourhood to scamper for safety.

It was gathered that following the sporadic gunshots, a bullet hit the fuel tank of a small electric generator in the house which caused an explosion that set the house on fire. As the building became engulfed with fire, the armed men quickly jumped into the two cars and drove off on top speed. Their exit then gave the residents of the area an opportunity to come out and put off the fire.

This incidence convinced Comrade Imahia that the death threats were no idle threats as his enemies were hell bent on sending him to his early grave. It was that fateful night that he decided to run for his dear life and disappear to an unknown destination.

However, a close source of Imahia’s Family in Benin City, Edo State, who appealed to remain anonymous confided in this reporter that Comrade Imahia is alive and well, and that he is currently in a European country where he is convinced of his safety and where the rule of law and social justice are held sacrosanct.

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