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This study aims to reiterate the effect educational implications of unknown gunmen insurgency. Over the past 7 years, the Nigeria School System has been under attack leading to kidnappings and killings of students and school administrators. Measures have been taken to curb these attacks but unfortunately, instead of the attacks to mitigate, they are still frequent and the psychological effect on innocent students is alarming (there have been about 4 different abductions in the past 3 months). To safeguard the educational system from collapse, the issue of insecurity in secondary schools and Nigeria must be dealt with efficiently. This paper examines the various effects that insecurity has had, is having, and will have on the secondary school system. If these incessant attacks are not proactively dealt with, it will portend a longer term danger to the quality of labour force and human capital needed to drive a sustainable economy. This study therefore, focuses on the implications of the activities of unknown gunmen to the development of education in Obowo metropolis of Imo state Nigeria.

                                        CHAPTER ONE


  1. Background of the study

No nation can develop when there is a high level of insecurity in society. The far reaching effects of insecurity are evident in most communities in Nigeria; they are less developed and backward. This is because insecurity in recent times has been one of the major issues bedeviling the majority of the Nigerian communities. The 2014 Global Report on security indicated that Nigeria is one of the crime-ravaging countries in the world. The report rated Nigeria high on the following critical variables: unlawful possession of arms, forgery, receiving stolen properties, false pretence, burglary, theft, Boko Haram, armed robbery, kidnapping, attempted murder cases, manslaughter etc. (Amirize, 2019). Two developments which took place simultaneously in Owerri, capital of Imo State and political headquarters of the South East, Tuesday October 4, 2021, underscored a novel resolve to stem the raging insanity and heedless bloodletting which have become recurring decimals in Igboland, over the last few weeks and months. First, the Nigerian Army launched a new military operation in the South East, codenamed “Exercise New Dawn.” The operation, according to the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Faruk Yahaya, will curb rising cases of insecurity in the zone. It hopes to tackle insurgency, kidnapping and rising banditry in the South East, and check wanton killings and incineration of public facilities in the zone by unknown gunmen. The second event was a meeting convened by governors of the South East states, to explore political and operational solutions to the skyrocketing wave of insecurity and uncertainty in the region. The meeting agreed to rejuvenate Ebubeagu a security initiative reminiscent of the Amotekun creation in the South West, among others. The security outfit will draw its membership from all the states in the South East, to complement the efforts of regular intelligence and security services, operating in the zone. The meeting equally resolved to put an end to the frequent “sit at home” orders regularly imposed on the South East, by the self-styled Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Nnamdi Kanu, who is being held by Nigeria’s security. The sitting decried the humongous socioeconomic losses incurred by workers and business owners in the South East, on each day the obnoxious sit-at-home order is enforced. The meeting equally reaffirmed the commitment of Ndi’gbo to the Saturday November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra and pledged to support the conduct of an incident-free poll. Not even the most unfeeling of persons will not be jolted by recent developments in the South East of the country, with specific reference to Anambra State.  Nigeria’s south-eastern states, particularly Imo State have been experiencing increasing levels of terrorism, with the primary hotspots being Orlu, Orsu, Njaba and Oru local government areas. Groups of unknown gunmen, have been targeting and killing people, especially military and security personnel and other federal agents. Their operations have included; burning down police stations, attacking government personnel and facilities, and perhaps the most shocking attack being the killing of a local legislator in Anambra. However, the activities of the UGM has gained notoriety in Imo and indeed in the South-East, with the Monday lock-downs by the separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as a form of civil disobedience against the Federal Government for the arrest and detention of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Not long after this, some unknown elements begun a brutal attempt to enforce the same lock-down beyond the stipulated time lines. In the South-East, Imo and Anambra states are the nucleus of violence. Thereby crippling educational activities in the state. (Sedeke 2020) Nonetheless, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi are comparatively safe and stable except for the intermittent terrorist activities of armed herdsmen which the police, military and security agencies appear rather reluctant to deal with.

For instance, on Monday, May 2, 2022, reports indicate that a military couple, Sergeant AM Linus and his wife (a Lance Corporal) were gunned down along with five others. The agents of terror beheaded the corpses of the soldiers, called their friends, and posted the conversation and a video of the severed heads on social media. The dialogue between the killers and the friends of the victims pointed to the possibility that the killing of the soldiers was a sort of revenge for the alleged killing of civilians by the military sent to the South-East to restore normalcy. What is happening, especially in Imo State cannot be ruled out as a form of terrorism. Indeed, this was how Boko Haram manifested up north in Maiduguri before escalating to suicide bombings and full-scale insurgency. Just a few years back, the South-East was considered to be one of the most peaceful areas in the country. Notwithstanding, the entrenched belief that the Muhammadu Buhari regime has not given the region enough sense of belonging and has strengthened the Biafra separatist movements, particularly the Indigenous People of Biafra. Additionally, the brutal military responses to peaceful protests by IPOB, its hasty designation as a terrorist group and the unchecked activities of armed herdsmen has also concretized the emergence and continuous existence of the murderous gangs of terror, being referred to as Unknown Gunmen or UGM. What is happening I believe is that, some unscrupulous persons are covertly exploiting earlier pronouncements by identified and recognised members of the separatist movement, IPOB. The actions of these people aim at causing confusion in the south-east of the country. Yet, things get even more complicated when this Unknown Gunmen appear to re-echo similar declarations made by the IPOB and says there would be no elections, and people attack political rallies and destroy billboards and IPOB says it is not responsible.


Some schools in Owerri and Obowo metropolis ended abruptly school session and forced their students to return home over the alleged threat to attack them by unknown gunmen. ( it was also gathered from sources in some locations, especially in Obowo and Owerri the state capital, as parents were seen anxiously taking their children home. Some of the school proprietors who could not mention their names for security reasons, said they had to shut down their schools because of a letter that went viral on social media linked to unknown gunmen, warning that there would no longer be movement, and schools will shut down on every Monday of the week in Igboland. Some of the school proprietors in the study area said they had to shut down their schools because of a letter that went viral on social media linked to unknown gunmen, warning that there would no longer be movements and schools will shut down every Monday of the week in Igboland.  This and many other incidence from none state actors poses a very serious setback to educational development in the state. It is in view of these challenges that this study becomes pertinent.


The study has one main objective, which is sub-divided into general and specific objective, the general objective is to examine the educational implications of unknown gunmen insurgency with emphasis on Obowo Imo state. The specific objectives are:

  1. To examine the effect of the actions of unknown government activities on the educational development of Obowo LGA of Imo state
  2. To ascertain if there is any significant relationship between unknown gunmen activities and educational development
  3. To ascertain the impact of unknown gunmen insurgency in the disruption of educational curriculum in Imo state
  4. To proffer suggested solution to the identified problem

The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;

  1. Does the actions of unknown government activities hinders the educational development of Obowo LGA of Imo state?
  2. Is there any significant relationship between unknown gunmen activities and educational development?
  3. Does unknown gunmen insurgency disrupt educational curriculum in Imo state?

The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;

H0: There is no significant relationship between unknown gunmen activities and educational development

H1: There is a significant relationship between unknown gunmen activities and educational development

H0: unknown government activities does not hinders the educational development of Obowo LGA of Imo state

H2: unknown government activities does not hinders the educational development of Obowo LGA of Imo state


It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the security architecture in the state as the study seek to explore the proximate cause of the insurgency in the study area, the study will also be of great benefit to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the study will serve as a pathfinder to further studies. The study will also be of great importance to student, teachers, academia’s, lecturers and the general public as the findings of this study will contribute to the pool of existing literature on the subject matter and also contribute to knowledge.


The scope of the study covers educational implications of unknown gunmen insurgency with emphasis on Obowo LGA of Imo state. But in the course of the study, there are some factors that limit the scope of the study;

AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study       

TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.



Education is both the act of teaching knowledge to others and the act of receiving knowledge from someone else. Education also refers to the knowledge received through schooling or instruction and to the institution of teaching as a whole.

Unknown gunmen

An unidentified soldier who has died in battle and for whom a tomb is established as a memorial to other unidentified dead of the nation’s armed forces.


An insurgency is a violent, armed rebellion against authority waged by small, lightly armed bands who practice guerrilla warfare from primarily rural base areas.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.