…as Uzodimma imposes dusk to dawn curfew
Residents of Orlu have fled their homes following the sporadic shootings going on along the timber market in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State.
This is just as governor HopeUzodimma has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in Nwangele, Nkwerre, Isu, Orsu,Orluand Njaba Council areas of the state in a bid to curtail the crisis which erupted last week between persons suspected to be members of the EasternSecurity Network cum Indigenous peoples Biafra and the security agents over the killing of policemen.
According to residents of the area, joint operatives of the Nigerian army and police arrived the area and started shooting sporadically, forcing people to scamper for their lives.
The security operatives, it was learnt, claimed that members of Eastern Security Network (ESN) set up by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), were guarding the area.
However, not long after the arrival of the police and army officers, ESN operatives also landed, leading to a gun battle between the Police and Army on one side, the ESN on the other
Unconfirmed reports have that the joint Army and police were on a revenge mission over the alleged killing of three soldiers and two policemen in Okporo community and at umutanze in Orland , Okwudor a Nkume in Njaba Council.
Also, recall that soldiers and had last Friday set ablaze the Orlu secretariat of the Biafra Independent Movement- Movement for the survival of the sovereign State of Biafra in pursuit of the fleeing members of the ESN/ IPOB.
However, the Imo state government has declared a dusk to dawn curfew as an interim measure to arrest the crisis in the affected areas of the state.
He said the curfew is an interim measure to immediately restore the peace in Orlu area. It will start at 6 pm and end at 6 am daily and affects; Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideato South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele, and Nkwerre local government areas of Orlu zone.
Addressing a news conference on the matter on Monday, Governor Uzodimma said the perpetrators of the carnage were out to paint a picture of the near breakdown of law and order in the Orlu area, noting that government condemns in its entirety acts of extreme hooliganism and brigandage.
He advised the residents of the affected LGAs to obey fully with the curfew as anyone who violates it will be treated as a suspect.
Governor Uzodimma said that security agencies have been directed to carry out a 24-hour patrol and that law-abiding citizens can go about their businesses without fear of molestation.
“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 citizens in the process.
“I am totally appalled by this sad report which appears to paint a picture of the 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 (6 pm to 6 am) is hereby imposed in the following Local GovernmentAreas of Orlu zone; namely; Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideato 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 the 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 condoles 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 unpurnished. “