By Okey Muogbo
A political pressure group, the Ideato Peoples Assembly (IPA) has condemned the recent invasion of Orlu in Imo State and the shameful on-going spat between the state Governor, Chief Hope Uzodinma and his immediate predecessor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
In a statement by the IPA, the group lamented that actions of the state Governor in inviting the military to invade Orlu was condemnable and wondered why a civilian governor who claimed to have been elected by his people would invite soldiers to harass his own people.
Chief Onwuamaeze A. Eze and Onyeka Ikenta, President and Secretary respectively of IPA in the statement titled “Military Invasion of Orlu and the state of Affiars in Imo” said, “we have witnessed, with shock and astonishment, the invasion of Orlu and other parts of Imo State by the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, “the Military”, in recent weeks.
“In their stated bid to engage the so called Eastern Security Network, “ESN”, and curb their perceived illegal activities, the Military swooped on Orlu and other parts of Imo State, and unleashed military might (with heavy destructive and fatal weapons) in ways and manner never before seen in the area since the end of the Civil War in 1970.
“Evidently, Imo State, including these areas under military siege, is densely populated and thickly inhabited by civilians” warning that any “military activity in the manner being conducted would leave unquantifiable human casualties; and this is the case presently.
“Given this incontrovertible fact, it is our succinct belief that the Military and all its allies and support, involved in this act, deliberately intended these natural consequences of their actions against the good people of Imo State.
“We are also perplexed that despite these quantum of orchestrated inhuman treatment and the killing of our people, our political leaders have either been collusive or remained taciturn and indifferent to the plight of the innocent masses”, the statement lamented.
On the involvement of Governor Uzodinma in the invasion, IPA said, “We specifically express our disappointment in the Executive Governor of Imo State, Chief Hope Uzodimma, who has stated and accepted responsibility for inviting the Military to deal with his people needlessly.
“This is the height of insensitivity and recklessness from a leader who claims to have been popularly elected by his people.
On the confrontation between Governor Uzodinma and Rochas Okorocha IPA said, “We are also concerned with the general state of affairs in our dear State, Imo. Of particular interest is the recent confrontation between the immediate past Governor of Imo State, the Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and some Aides of the incumbent Governor, His Excellency, Hope Uzodimma on Sunday, 20th February, 2021 in Owerri, Imo State.
“Sadly, both men are from the same Orlu Zone. While we do not desire to apportion blame, we hereby state that what played out on that day between these prominent sons of our dear State was despicable, shameful and dishonorable. It portrayed Orlu and Imo State in bad light to the entire world.
“It is therefore needful for us in IPA to express our disappointment on that unfortunate event and urge the parties to explore appropriate LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL means in seeking redress for their grievances”, the statement added.