THE security situation in Imo State is getting grimmer and if care is not taken, the state can turn into a major flashpoint. On Tuesday, June 15, 2021, vigilant operatives of the 72 Special Forces Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Makurdi, made a timely catch for which they deserve our commendation.
They intercepted five trucks conveying 73 young men and 47 brand new Bajaj motorcycles as well as some minerals such as lead, zinc and baryte from Plateau State meant for a company in Port Harcourt. But the young men who owned the motorcycles said they were going to Imo State “for greener pasture”.
The real motive of these youths reportedly traced to Nasarawa State where there is a recognised presence of Boko Haram and bandit terrorists is suspicious. This is because for some years there has been a ban on the operation of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in Imo State. Indeed, former Governor Rochas Okorocha had launched “Bus Imo” and “Taxi Imo” as replacements.
How could the sponsors of these youths send them to Imo State where this mode of commercial transport is banned unless there is a sinister motive? Motorcycles are the known means of rapid mobility used by Boko Haram and North West terrorists to invade towns and villages en masse, killing, burning and abducting people, especially school children.
Also, the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, has been quoted as saying that 70 per cent of the arrested hoodlums masquerading as “unknown gunmen” are not of Igbo stock. Could it be that stranger elements are being procured to terrorise Imo State in particular and the South East Zone as a whole?
If not, what else could be the real mission of these strange elements? Who bought motorcycles for them? These are mysteries that the law enforcement agencies must unravel.
The people of Imo State and the South East are Nigerians and they deserve the protection of the security agencies which are funded with the money of taxpayers of which they are among. We call on Nigerians not to fold their arms as a horrible armed conflict brews in the South East. If it is not arrested on time it will spread to all parts of the South. It will not augur well for the peace and unity of our beleaguered country.
We salute the 72 Special Forces Brigade for rising to their constitutional mandate by intercepting the strange elements. We hope they are professionally processed and their motives and sponsors ascertained for necessary law enforcement actions.
The Police, Armed Forces and security agencies must emulate the Makurdi-based Special Forces in order to restore the shattered faith of Nigerians in their ability to do their jobs without ethnic bias.