From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has ordered a thorough investigation into the recent disturbances at Awommamma, Oru East Local Government Area of the state, where soldiers on reprisal attack after losing their colleague to gunmen on Monday razed buildings and other properties in the area.
A statement by the state Commissioner for Information and strategy, Declan Emelumba, noted that the incident deserves a better explanation hence the order by the governor to unravel its remote cause.
While vehemently condemning the actions of both culprits in the incident he advised both parties to restrain from further acts capable of igniting crisis in the area and embrace peace while the investigation concludes.
‘Government condemns the murder of a soldier by the so-called unknown gunmen. Certainly, this soldier who was on a legitimate duty to ensure free flow of traffic and to protect lives and property on this fateful Monday of November 22nd did not deserve to die such a gruesome death.
‘On the other hand, Government deprecates reports of wanton destruction of property visited on the community by aggrieved soldiers. The indiscriminate burning of residential and businesses premises of innocent citizens was not an appropriate response since two wrongs will never make a right. Government has good reasons to believe that there is more to the sad event than meets the eyes.
‘Consequently, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Executive Governor of Imo State has ordered a high powered investigation into the incident to unravel the cause of the crisis and the attendant loss of life and property.
‘Government appreciates the enormous sacrifice by security agencies with the attendant risks, to keep lmo safe for all law-abiding citizens. Equally, government restates its charge to security agencies in the state to always abide by the rules of engagement as spelt out by their services while carrying out their legitimate assignments.
‘On the other hand, communities are advised to always cooperate with security agencies to track down and arrest criminals in their midst.
‘Government extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of the dead soldier while deeply sympathising with the victims of the crisis. Government will take immediate measures to ameliorate their losses while at the same time ensuring that such an ugly incident does not recur,’ Emelumba assured.