Member representing Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State, Rep. Chike Okafor, has called on the Nigerian Army and the police to handle the unfolding security challenges in Imo professionally.
Okafor in a personally signed statement issued in Abuja on Monday, stressed the need for security agencies managing the security situation in Imo State to operate within the ambits of the law.
The former chairman House Committee on Health Services described as highly condemnable, extra-judicial killings and acts of brutality meted out on indigenes of his state.
This as he slammed politicians who have politicized the ongoing crisis the state, saying Imo must first exist for individuals hoping to benefit from the current situation in the next round of elections.
The statement read in part: “Owerri is an awesome city, with its peace-loving and hospitable people; enchanting nightlife and boisterous weekends. But the past weeks have cast us in very bad light and sold a dreadful story to the world, about who we are not.
“We have occupied conspicuous spaces in the news, all for the wrong reasons and this should be a matter of concern to anyone and everyone who calls Imo state home, Irrespective of (political) party affiliation. Businesses are suffering, pupils are on forced vacation, day-workers are jumpy and begin to shut down by 3pm to scurry off home for fear of their lives”.
“Sadly, no day passes without stories that- touch- the- heart. Before you react to one, another happens and the chain continues in quick successions. Either Police formations are being attacked and policemen killed,or security infrastructures are being burnt down alongside public/government facilities. Government functionaries and security personnel are targeted for the kill and nobody expects the security forces to just seat back and watch the decimation of their ranks.
“But the counter-actions of the security forces must show they are different, humane and more professional than the rampaging hoodlums that have besieged our state. Nothing can justify the increasing outrage over mounting body counts of victims of extrajudicial killings across the state”, the statement further read.
Okafor who strongly condemned the attacks on police stations and the destruction of public property, called for leaders in the state to rally round Governor Hope Uzodinma to save Imo, as the state needs rescuing.
“We must seat up and take notice of what is happening in our state – the political and apolitical, leaders and followers, men, women, boys and girls – we must own this struggle to redeem our dear state. In spite of our religious leanings, political inclinations and ideological biases, one thing that binds us all together is Imo, our homeland!
“So, no matter where we stand as individuals, we must cut our losses and rally round our Governor Senator Hope Uzodinma and support him with ideas and counsel to help restore sanity and security to our dear state” Okafor stated.