Hope Uzodimma, the Imo State Governor has commended the Nigeria army and Ebubeagu Security Network efforts in successfully destroying bomb factories at Eke- Ututu market in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State at the weekend.
Soldiers had set the ancestral market and some houses in the area ablaze, leading to the death of two people.
The burning of the market was criticised by the Bishop of Orlu Catholic Diocese, Very Reverend Ukwuoma and the Peoples Democratic Party.
But speaking in the development, the governor lauded the tactics of the military which he noted prevented loss of life during the operation but regretted the critical injury sustained by the captain and another officer who led the operation.
Governor Uzodimma who vowed to sustain the fight against insecurity in the State explained that the natives of the area where subjected to various forms of molestation including tasking them before opening their shops.
He has also promised the people of the community that their market ,shops and other items destroyed in the process of the operation would be replaced and adequate compensation made to the affected people.
“As I speak with you,the captain that led this operation and another officer is lying critical at the ICU of the Federal Medical Centre,the soldiers were able to dislodge them,casava and other items they used in manufacturing explosives were recovered.
“In the process they burnt down the shops and this is consistent with our fight against insecurity, and they were too tactical that no lives were lost ,they were able to destroy were they make some of these explosives and it pleases some of the citizens of this state ,those of them who are candidates running for elections in other political parties ,they were even so brazen to blackmail the security agencies ,questioning why they should go there at all.
”None of them made attempt to visit the scene, while some are in Abuja talking to the media,some are also in Owerri here ranting and Imo State is bleeding.
“At the same Eke – Ututu market ,people don’t even go to the market without paying taxes to unknown gunmen, I mean taxes for them to be able to open their shops and this is what we have been fighting all through.
“let me use this medium to state that the fight against,banditry, terrorism,kidnapping in Imo State, government will stop at nothing,it is not politics, it’s about security of lives and properties of our people,so anybody who wants to play politics with that, well history will judge all of us .
”I think we would continue to support security agencies to continue to do their work while we regret any collateral damage that may go with it ,by this we mean the burning of the shops and the historical significance of Eke Ututu market “. Governor Uzodimma said.
He added ” Those ones can be replaced and rebuild but lives lost can never be replaced, Imo State government will also rebuild the market, even in the process,there are innocent traders who lost their items, government will work out compensation for that market ,government has a responsibility to fight crime.
Also, speaking on the alleged inflation of voters in his ward,Omuma, the governor said “For those of them who said Omuma is a local place, Omuma is not a local place, it has an urban status, additional traffic and influx of human being.
“But I think what happened was that the opposition has lost track, those who are speaking are candidates of PDP, I don’t want to join issues with them, it would only make them popular. The fact remains that in 2019, Omuma had over twenty three thousand registered voters and the INEC final compilation is not out.
“So whoever is talking about padding or not padding, they’re also saying this because they sponsoring insecurity and thought nobody is at Omuma again. I have area command in addition to the divisional command, that means additional traffic for Omuma, we have immigration, custom at Omuma and these are additional traffic.
”So I don’t how some people who do not work with the National Population commission would come and talk about figures. I even heard that there are some Japanese in the register, but the students at the polytechnic there at Omuma are Nigerians. I don’t think there is any Japanese there .” Uzodimma stated.