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Tackling Security Challenges in Imo

Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma.

May 09, (THEWILL) – The protection of lives and property is everybody’s business. In fact, no one derives joy when his neighbourhood transforms into a killing field overnight due to the activities of criminals.

Whenever there is a breakdown of law and order, law-abiding citizens become uncomfortable and apprehensive because the development could escalate to the point of becoming a serious threat to life and property or portend grave danger to the state.

When a community is afflicted with insecurity, nobody feels safe to go about their normal business. No matter the motives of the perpetrators, human lives are bound to be lost and valuable property destroyed.

Tackling insecurity, especially in Imo, which used to be one of the safest and most peaceful states in Nigeria, requires a tactical approach, as well as a comprehensive overhaul of the security structure of the state.

As the Chief Security Officer of Imo, Governor Hope Uzodimma has what it takes to successfully tackle the security challenges facing the state, which have seriously affected social and economic activities, if not completely grind them to a halt. Contrary to common belief, insecurity does not yield dividends to those that are behind it. Victims suffer great losses and pain. It also scares away prospective investors, who are supposed to engage in economic that will beneficial to the state and its residents.

As far as the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery agenda of the  Hope Uzodimma administration is concerned, insecurity remain the greatest obstacle to the attainment of its laudable objectives.

Is it not shocking that the so-called ‘unknown gunmen’ have continued to attack government-owned facilities, often departing the scene of the attacks without being apprehended? Isn’t it a wonder that the identities of those sponsoring these unprovoked acts of aggression are still unknown to the security agencies? Who are those selfishly fanning this ember of violence in a once peaceful Imo? What are their reasons for doing this?

It is on record that operatives of the Imo States Police Command have tirelessly worked in concert with other security agencies in the state to arrest the criminals, yet the attacks have continued. The situation keeps worsening as if no frantic effort had been made to curb it.

In retrospect, life in Government House was not exactly a bed of roses for former Governor Rochas Okorocha.  Okorocha had a tough time fighting crime during his tenure. Determined to flush out hardened criminals from the state, he threw in every tool in his possession into the fight, put in place effective strategies that ensured that he emerged victorious and successfully whittled down the crime rate in the state.

Okorocha tackled crime headlong, with an uncommon courage. He never resorted to apportioning blame or pointing accusing fingers at innocent politicians in the state and claiming that they had been sponsoring terrorist attacks across the state. Anybody who does this is indirectly giving the impression that he is panic-stricken and lacks the capacity to tackle the problem.

It is horrible that up till now, no one can reliably say where the gunmen are operating from, what they really want and why they are doing. These men of the underworld are either making their grievances known or they are seeking attention. It is Governor Uzodimma’s duty, particularly to the people of Imo, to unravel the mystery surrounding them and their mission to the state.

It is alleged that those behind this security crisis in Imo are not even indigenes of the state. But it does not matter whether they hail from the state or not. What matters is the fact that the lives and property of the people of Imo are under threat.

More security personnel have been deployed to Imo to smoke out the faceless gunmen. It is now the duty of the citizens to assist government to tackle this problem completely.

As far as the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) is concerned, Governor Uzodimma is a stakeholder. The party holds him in such high esteem that it believes that he can lead the governors of South-East states to meet President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss how to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) , Nnamdi Kanu, in order to restore normalcy, which has clearly eluded the South-East. The economy of the geopolitical zone is grounded. Nothing is moving any longer. Schools, Markets, Shopping malls nowadays close down on Mondays in compliance to a persistent sit-at-home order imposed by IPOB to press home its demand for the release of Kanu.

Imo residents are yet to recover from the losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and End-SARS protests which ravaged the country. Governor Uzodimma should persuade his fellow governors in the South-East to have a meeting with President Buhari. Uzodimma should take this bold step for the sake of Ndi Imo. The state has lost promising persons and property in the mayhem that was unleashed by suspected criminals and unknown gunmen.

Not only that, there seems to be a mass exodus of investors and captains of industries from Imo and other South-East states to the South-South. We cannot afford to continue losing them to the worsening insecurity in the region.

The tension in Imo is now a source of worry to the residents whose daily activities are being partially paralyzed.

Everybody embraces peaceful- coexistence and tranquility. Imo needs an accelerated development which anchors on industrialisation and human- developement. Our socioeconomic advancement should not be politicised. We have been lagging behind in all departments of the economy. Time to put Imo in order is now.

Governor Hope Uzodimma is the father of the state. He is expected to leave no stone unturned to stop these inhuman attacks on peaceful and law-abiding people by hoodlums. The people of the state are worried over the unprecedented killings and bombing of facilities.