By Debo Oladimeji
This city, like any city, has foreign enemies and needs to be defended from outside attack. It therefore needs a class of guardians who are courageous and public-spirited, who are willing to sacrifice their material desires and wants for the sake of the common good. Socrates in The Republic
Peace has finally returned to Imo after the recent attacks on the state by hoodlums. Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma did everything humanly possible to ensure that peace returns to Imo State faster than expected. Imolites can now go about their business without any fear of molestation by anybody.
The Governor with the security agencies were able to repel most of the attacks, and apprehended many of the bandits and recovered Riffles ( many AK 47) and some explosives they would have used to wreak more havoc on the state.
Imolites now have to join hands in prayer and thank God for taking control of the security situation in the State.
Governor Uzodinma had shown to the Imo people that government was on top of the security situation in the state, and that he will not fold its hands and allow the freedom and welfare of his people trampled upon.
He promised that government will continue to do everything humanly possible to step up action to ensure there is peace and tranquility in Imo State to allow its economy to grow.
He reiterated his earlier call for the people to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation “as God Almighty will go ahead and complete the good work he has started in Imo State.”
As a way of reducing poverty and stability in the state Governor Uzodinma has commenced his empowerment programme for 15,000 youths with N4billion. The initiative which started on Saturday was part of the state government efforts to alleviate poverty and reduce crime in the state.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy Declan Emelumba, in a statement, said the gesture was in fulfillment of the governor’s promise to alleviate poverty and reduce crime in the state.
Each of the youths will receive N250,000 as seed capital to pursue a trade of their choice.
The youths who are drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state have been trained in various vocations.
A group, Concerned Imo Youths, also commended Governor Hope Uzodinma on his efforts at tackling the insecurity issues in the state.
The youths, in a statement by their Coordinator, Anayo James Ikechukwu, said that it was unfortunate some unscrupulous elements are hell bent on destroying the State for selfish gains.
They however commended the State Government for rising up to the challenges.
They also enjoined all youths in the State to rise and protect Imo State from those they described as the enemies of the State.
”Hope Uzodinma is the constituted authority in the land and it’s the duty of all patriotic citizens to support the Government.
“As concerned youths we believe that Imo people are one and we have overcome a lots together and this time too shall pass,” the statement reads.
Also reacting the Coalition of Southeast Leaders led by Goodluck Ibem said: “The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, the apex socio-political youth organization in the South East geopolitical zone condemns in strongest terms:
“The vicious attack where the governor’s house was set on fire and security men killed is totally uncalled for and should stop forthwith. Igboland is a peaceful place and anyone that is behind these vicious attacks on Igboland must be brought to justice.
“The attack on the governor’s residence is purely the handiwork of aggrieved politicians who are not happy with the governor’s stance against corruption and conversion of state government properties to personal properties.”
Briefing reporters shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, the governor condemned the recent attacks by armed bandits on communities, especially in the northern part of the country, challenged the security agencies to urgently reveal the names of their sponsors.
He also condemned the call for secession, stressing that criminals particularly in Imo were a combination of individuals within and outside the state.
Governor Uzodinma, said 70 percent of the gunmen who attacked the state are not Igbo.
He said over 400 people who caused mayhem in the state have been arrested and charged to court.
“Government cannot surrender to blackmailers, hoodlums, and perpetrators of violence.”
The governor warned those planning to visit the state with any form of violence to have a rethink as “government is more than ever ready and prepared to keep Imo safe and secured”.
Uzodinma called on the people to go about their business without fear of molestation or harassment.
“What happened in the past weeks will never repeat itself again,” he said.