March 22, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the deployment of more security personnel, arms and ammunition to address violence in Imo State and ensure peace in the state.
The State governor, Hope Uzodimma, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of his summon to Presidential Villa, Abuja, by the president on Monday.
THEWILL had reported that President Buhari invited the Governor over recent security developments within his state, as well as the entirety of the Southeast region.
The President also met with the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, and his Chief Economic Adviser, Professor Doyin Salami, in two other separate meetings over the crises rocking the power sector and economy in general.
The governor was summoned following the latest attacks in Imo State targeting the home of Professor George Obiozor and some police assets.
Obiozor is the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and a leading voice of moderation in the affairs of the country.
Uzodinma, who confirmed that the meeting was on the insecurity in his state and the South-East, said “You must have heard that the President sent for me and I have gone to see him and based on issues, which we have adequately addressed, particularly the resurgence of insecurity in the Southeast and what is required to ensure that it’s properly controlled.
“We discussed all that and he took my recommendations seriously and indeed I can tell you he immediately gave approval to all that, which includes an increase in manpower to security agencies and then other logistics support, ranging from additional arms and ammunition.
“Also, we are making use of our local vigilante and the involvement of community leaders to ensure that through community arrangement, additional security is provided to the people.
“You will recall that a few days ago, the home of the President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo was attacked by bandits and the same night, a police station in Umuguma, Owerri West, was also attacked.
“For a very long time, if you’ll remember, we’ve never had such a situation and this happened at a time when people are already relaxed and thought that insecurity has become a thing of the past.
“But to the glory of God, security agencies rose to it, the second day they were probably repelled by security agencies, particularly men of the Directorate of State Service. They’ve been very useful, working with other security agencies.
“We didn’t also wait, we initiated a community-oriented program where the vigilante approach has been re-enacted and the community leaders have shown sufficient interest. We’ll get there.”
Reacting to the allegation that his administration might be culpable in the crisis in his state, as it had been accused of sponsoring some of the people behind the trouble, including the ‘unknown gunmen’ phenomenon, Uzodinma described such thinking as abnormal.
“Well, thank God that you called us government and I don’t know how a government, with paraphernalia of office available to it, ranging from the army, the police, the air force, the navy, the DSS, the Civil Defence, will now go for non-state actors to be used for governance.
“As civilised people, you also represent the elites, you should be able to advise such minds to reason well and think well because the only person that officially has power for coercion is the government. If anything is to go by, we are a God-fearing government, that is why we have not used force as the only way of controlling the violence in Imo State.”
In his efforts to meet aggrieved parties as promised, he said his administration had continued to reach out to aggrieved politicians in the state in a bid to carry them along so that they could contribute their quota to the growth and development of the state.
He said: “Since January 2020 when I came to office, one of the things I initiated was quarterly stakeholders’ meetings.
“As a matter of fact, I have had six stakeholders’ engagements. And the purpose of that engagement is to create a platform where the stakeholders will meet and will also act as an opinion poll to involve people in governance and that has yielded a lot of positive results.
“Arising from that, we have also done one on one engagement with some critical stakeholders.
“For those who are aggrieved, I don’t know if those grievances are against the government or against individuals.
“But those who think are part of the political system that are not contributing positively to the current administration, we’re also reaching out to them.
“Of course, I know if anything is to go by, some of the reasonable ones have started coming back.
“If you have been following the politics of Imo of late, given the evolution we have just deployed to rescue the infrastructure that was almost absent and our achievements so far, it has attracted a lot of support from our people.
“Leaders from Imo are together and united in commending our efforts. And if you can go to Imo State and be on the ground, apart from some dissenting voices that are on your social media, I think the state is almost recovered and we’re doing very, very well.
“So, there’s no need at this point in time for people to be aggrieved over what is not in existence.”