…Says sit-at-home politicised, not obeyed in Imo
…Adds: Over 80% of people killed ‘re Igbos
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Imo state governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Wednesday said that the state government was talking with leaders of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, behind the scene with a view to finding solutions to the insecurity in the state.
The Governor also said that the sit-at-home order by the separatist organization has been politicised by the opposition political party, even as he claimed that the sit-at-home was no longer observed in Imo state.
Governor Hope stated this while speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the purpose of the meeting was to thank the President for coming to Imo State to commission what he described as “some strategic projects” built by his administration.
He further said that he briefed the President on the security situation in the state, adding that Imo was relatively peaceful.
The Governor, who said that the state government has invested a lot of money in security, regretted that over 80 per cent of the people killed as a result of the insecurity in the state are Igbos.
Answering questions on why leaders of the South East had allowed the security situation to fester instead of finding a way to dialogue with the separatists as was seen in the North where some governors had direct dialogue with the bandits and Boko Haramleaders, he said that there were behind the scene discussions.
But he was however reluctant to disclose what manner of discussions were being held or with whom.
Speaking in parables, he affirmed that not all talks could be undertaken openly.
Asked whether there was any negotiation with the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), he responded: “The management of crime can be likened to the relationship between husband and wife. It’s not everything they do to keep peace that are discussed at the sitting room.
“Discussion in the bedroom produces better result than the one in the living room. Take it. I think I’ve spoken.”
The governor said that the sit-at-home order by IPOB has be politicized, saying that the opposition raises false alarm about people being killed just to cause confusion.
He stated: “The sit-at-home order is also being politicized because those issuing the order are faceless. We’ve not seen either through newspapers or through broadcast order directing people to sit at home.
“Rather, what we know that is happening is this paparazzi mentality of trying to put fear into our people and make innocent people vulnerable.
“As I speak to you, the sit-at-home order is not being obeyed in Imo state.”
He said apart from last Monday when according to him there was restriction of movement as a result of the Izombe killings in the state, the people have been going about their normal businesses.
According to him, “So, I think we need to support the uninformed so that they don’t out of fear commit suicide.
“So, the truth of the matter is that we have security challenges, we had misunderstanding, disagreement, but we are able to also do a lot to bring these things to barest minimum.
“So, the security situation in Imo state is relatively ok and people are going about their businesses.
“The only regret is that we have invested a lot of money trying to manage insecurity which of course was not expected.”
He also said that the recent crisis in Izombe, which led to death of some people and burning of houses .was as a result of a clash between some bandits and the military, but he said that peace has returned to the area.