Those behind the strings of mayhem in Imo State are to be revealed in a matter of days, Governor Hope Uzodimma said yesterday.
He said security agencies have identified the mastermind of recent disturbances in the Southeast state.
Uzodimma, who spoke after the service at Government House Chapel, Owerri, the state capital, said the identities, of the unrest promoters, including their names would be unveiled in few days their names so that they can face justice.
The height of the mayhem was the attack penultimate on the governor’s country home in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area.
The State Command of the Police and the Correctional Centre were also attacked by gunmen, who opened the prison gate for more than 1,800 inmates to escape. According to him, the government would use all within its powers to identify and flush out the criminals , assuring that his administration cannot fold its arms and allow terror reign in the state.
Uzodimma said: “I will never and not going to negotiate with criminals. Anyone involved in any form of criminality aimed at bringing down Imo State by any means should have a rethink or such persons will have themselves to blame.
”Those out to bring the state down must be prepared to be brought down as well.”
Thanking the people for their understanding and resilience throughout the period of security breaches and skirmishes, the governor reiterated: “The mayhem in Imo State was carried out by hoodlums, bandits and a small percentage of IPOB members and aggrieved politicians who decided to sponsor violence to derail the government of the day.”
He said government will always use its powers in line with the oath it swore to protect the people and their property, emphasizing that no individual, group or criminals will be stronger than government.
Uzodimma enjoined the people to be calm “because God is with us and that is why the criminals and bandits failed in their nefarious activities.”
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The governor also warned the people, especially political appointees, to be careful with what their comments and posts on the social media, insisting that one may be interacting with criminals and bandits “knowingly or unknowingly”.
He enjoined Imolites (Imo indigenes) to repent and avoid being entangled with criminals as such involvement would counter-productive.
In his homily, the Chaplain Government House Chapel, Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Gilbert Alaribe enjoined Christians to emulate the biblical Paul and Barnabas and be bold in their dealings.
He emphasised that the society “needs people of boldness like Barnabas who stood firm at all times and in trying moments”.
According to him “only God’s intervention in the period like we have now will solve the insecurity challenges faced by states and the country at large”.
At yesterday’s service were the wife of the governor’s wife Chioma, Deputy Governor Prof. Placid Njoku, House of Assembly Speaker Paul Emeziem and other top government functionaries.