Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has condemned the attack by gunmen in Orlu Local Government Area of the state, resulting in the killing and maiming of innocent citizens yesterday.
In a statement, Uzodimma said: “This afternoon, I received a very disturbing report on the activities of a group of militants, who unleashed a shooting spree in the Orlu area of the state, killing and maiming innocent citizen in the process.
“I am totally appalled by this sad report, which appears to paint a picture of near breakdown of law and order in the Orlu area. The government condemns in its entirety this act of extreme hooliganism and brigandage. This is completely unacceptable to this administration. Those behind this callous barbarism will surely regret their actions.
“Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to fish out without fail, all those behind the carnage and immediately bring them to book. Let no one be in any doubt that the perpetrators of this dastardly act will ever escape justice. I assure them that they will pay for their cruelty against a peace loving, innocent people
As an interim measure to immediately restore the peace in Orlu zone, a dusk to dawn curfew (6pm to 6am) is hereby imposed in the following local government areas of Orlu zone: Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideao South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwerre.
All law-abiding citizens are advised to comply strictly with the curfew as announced. Anyone caught violating the curfew will be treated as a suspect.
The government wants to assure all Imo people that the situation in Orlu area is under control. Security operatives have been deployed on a 24-hour patrol of the zone. Equally, every security measure necessary has been put in place to ensure that law-abiding citizens can go about their businesses in the affected areas without any fear of molestation.
“The government sincerely condones with the families of the bereaved and all the victims of the unfortunate incident. I assure them that those who committed the heinous crime against them and their loved ones will never go unfurnished.”
Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, responding to the incident, said: “I have said it time without number did we go to their barracks to look for their trouble or they came into our forest to attack us.
“We shall not condone this any longer, we would not allow them to kill us again. We wouldn’t allow what happened in Obigbo to happen again in Biafra land. They can’t kill us because we have not done anything to them other than to protect our land and forest, they are just killing innocent civilians.”
Meanwhile, the Igbo National Council (INC) has expressed fear that if the crisis is not quickly resolved, it may escalate to other parts of Imo community.
National President of INC, comrade Chilos Godsent, in a statement, also urged the Inspector General of Police to deploy his men to the crisis prone areas, while he advised that the military should be withdrawn to avoid further damages.