From Amaka Ezenwa, Owerri
The Catholic Archbishop of Owerri,
Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, has asked for an Imo stakeholders’ meeting to discuss and evolve solutions to the security challenges in the state.Bishop Obinna made the call in an open letter, entitled “Stop the Killings – Convene a ceasefire meeting – Save Imo – a charge to Gov. Hope Uzodimma and all Stakeholders”.
He expressed dismay over the reported killings of innocent people at Imo state, describing it as a worrisome development.
He said: “On June 3, I visited the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri mortuary, and I painfully surveyed the 35 corpses naked on the bare floor, dumped there within the last few days.
“These were victims of runaway killers with no identification on them.
“I thought of many others who have been kidnapped, taken to unknown locations, killed and even butchered, as we continue to hear, Imo is bleeding.
“I personally went to the Federal Correctional Centre, Owerri to also see the 160 young men arrested from various locations, accused and arraigned for planning to commit treasonable felony.”
The cleric called on the governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, as the chief security officer of the state, to rise to the challenge and stop the killings.
“On behalf of those that were killed and even more, on behalf of the living now threatened daily with brutal death, I charge Uzodimma to stop the killings by whoever is responsible.
“I equally charge all users and abusers of guns and deadly weapons to stop the killings, to renounce violence and denounce any show of pride in killing human beings,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Imo has recorded serious security breaches since April, with many residents and security operatives either killed or maimed.