From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Imo church leaders under the auspices of Concerned Church Leaders Forum (CCLF) have called on Governor Hope Uzodinma to put an end to extra-judicial killings which are becoming rife across the state.
The church leaders urged the government to summon a meeting where all opposing groups would meet to dialogue on a way forward from the present crisis.
Speaking on Monday on behalf of the group, Dr Cosmas Ilechukwu, Co-Convener, stated that life in Imo has become precarious.
‘As we speak, reports say the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Owerri mortuary is filled to the brim and dead bodies of young people littered around the premises.
‘It is so sad that amidst this return to barbarism in Imo, a leading member of the ruling APC, Mr Ahmed Gulak, was killed in Imo.
‘We want to seize the opportunity of this address to appeal to all and sundry to stop the killing, we appeal to the unknown gunmen to sheath their guns,’ he said.
Ilechukwu expressed concern that the economy of the state has been badly affected with the public now living in fear.
He advised members of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing Eastern Security Network (ESN) to retrace their steps as any war in Igbo land will be devastating.
He also condemned the killing of late Oguchi Unachukwu, who was allegedly murdered by personnel of the Nigerian Air Force around Sam Mbakwe airport on May 31.
‘There has been an influx of soldiers and policemen from outside the state, people are forced to disembark from their vehicles and walk past the Army checkpoints with their hands raised over their heads.
‘We have watched with total dismay some extremely disturbing developments in the country, in general, with specific reference to the brewing state of belligerence in the South East and Imo in particular,’ he said.
Imo has come under heavy attack since April by unknown gunmen, leading to the death of both unarmed and security operatives in the state.
The Brigade Commander, 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, Brig Gen. Reymond Osaghe, disclosed on Saturday at the police officers’ mess during a media parley that hundred unarmed civilians have so far been killed as a result of the recent attacks in the state.
He further disclosed that 38 of the Army personnel and 78 police officers have also lost their lives in the effort against violence and insecurity in the state.