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Nigeria Steps Up Security After Failed Assassination Attempt On Governor

Nigerian authorities are pledging to improve security countrywide afterwhat they call a failed assassination attempt against asoutheastern state governor. Reports say Abia State Governor Chief Theodore Orjiwas ambushed yesterdayon his way tothe airport in neighboringPort Harcourt. One person was killed and several others injured, but Orji himself was not hurt. The latest incidentis one of several attacks against high governmentofficialsin what some say is a growing security problem. Police authorities say they will put more officers out on the streets andbeef up the intelligence unit to infiltrate criminal gangs.

Despite the attack, Governor Orji told VOA English to Africa reporter Chinedu Offor the state remains peaceful. "The state of Abia state is cool and calm. There is nothing that is shaking the state at all. We are organized, we are pushing along as a government that is focused, so people are relaxed." He blamed his political opponents for the attack.

"Stories will speculate and these stories germinate by our opponents. My convoy that was about to come and pick me up was waylaid on the Port Harcourt / Enugu express road with the aim of eliminating me. It was not an armed robbery attack at all because those hoodlums shot at every car that was on my convoy, but concentrated on my official car."

Governor Orji says the government is working hard to improve security in the state. "We have a problem of insecurity that we are battling here. We have the police, but the police do not have adequate equipment fight this people. My people who were there, they over powered them, their fire power was too much for my people, my people resisted them, but their fire power was too much."