Reports suggest several residents were shot dead in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo state following a clash between officers of the Nigerian Army and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) established by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist group.
Eyewitnesses said that the clash was triggered after some soldiers were attacked for allegedly assaulting some youths in the town on Sunday night, with the soldiers returning later at night only to meet stiff resistance from personnel of the IPOB security outfit. The outcome was a clash between the two groups
Eyewitnesses told ARISE News that more soldiers were deployed to the town Monday, with sporadic gunshots heard in Orlu local government area leading to the death of several residents.
The State Governor Hope Uzodinma also condemned the attack which he said led to the killing and maiming of innocent citizens on Monday, ordering security agencies to without fail fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book.
And in a bid to restore peace in Orlu, Governor Uzodimma ordered a curfew in some local government areas namely Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideato South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwerre.
“This afternoon, I received a very disturbing report on the activities of a group of Militants who unleashed a shooting spree in the Orlu area of the state, killing and maiming innocent citizen in the process,” the Governor said.
“I am totally appalled by this sad report which appears to paint a picture of near breakdown of law and order in the Orlu area. The government condemns in its entirety this act of extreme hooliganism and brigandage.
“This is completely unacceptable to this administration. Those behind this callous barbarism will surely regret their actions.
“Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to fish out without fail, all those behind the carnage and immediately bring them to book. Let no one be in any doubt that the perpetrators of this dastardly act will ever escape justice. I assure them that they will pay for for their cruelty against a peace-loving and innocent people.
“As an interim measure to immediately restore the peace in Orlu zone, a dusk to dawn curfew (6 pm to 6 am) is hereby imposed in the following Local Government Areas of Orlu zone; namely; Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideato South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwerre.
“All law-abiding citizens are advised to comply strictly with the curfew as announced. Anyone caught violating the curfew will be treated as a suspect.
“The government wants to assure all Imo people that the situation in Orlu area is under control. Security operatives have been deployed on a 24-hour patrol of the zone. Equally, every security measure necessary has been put in place to ensure that law-abiding citizens can go about their businesses in the affected areas without any fear of molestation.”
By Abel Ejikeme