Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo, has imposed a 12-hour curfew in 10 local government areas (LGAs) following a clash between soldiers and members of the security network set up by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Four residents were allegedly shot dead in Orlu, Imo state, as a result of a clash between officers of the Nigerian army and the Eastern Security Network (ESN), established by IPOB.
In a statement on Monday, Uzodimma expressed shock over the killings which he attributed to a group of “militants”.
He also promised that those found culpable would be brought to book, and added that in order to restore peace to Orlu, a dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed on some local government areas.
He advised all citizens to adhere to the curfew as anyone caught violating it would be treated as a suspect.
“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 citizens in the process,” he 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 their cruelty against a peace loving, 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, Ideao 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 governor also noted that the situation has been brought under control, while security operatives have been deployed on a 24-hour patrol of the area.
“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,” he added.
“The government sincerely condoles with the families of the bereaved and all the victims of the unfortunate incident. I assure them that those who committed the heinous crime against them and their loved ones will never go unpunished.”