It is no longer news that for the past few days so many civilian lives have been lost in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State as a result of a reported revenge mission carried out by security operatives. The revenge mission, it is believed, is as a result of the reported disappearance of two soldiers who were part of a team of security operatives who clashed with members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) believed to be operating in the bushes around Orlu. Recall that the ESN was formed by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as a measure to curb the menace of Fulani bandits within the old eastern region.
Suffice it to say here that the formation of ESN appears to be a desperate measure by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to secure the eastern region in order to eradicate the activities of the marauding Fulani bandits. It is sad to say that while the governors of the Southwest were proactive to arrest the threat of Fulani bandits in their region by the formation of Amotekun Security outfit, their counterparts in the Southeast played politics with the issue. Many of them were more interested in protecting their selfish and myopic political ambition instead of placing the well-being of their citizens first. If the governors of the Southeast region had been responsible enough to emulate their Southwest counterparts by forming a regional security outfit, perhaps their wouldn’t have been any need for the formation of ESN.
Senator Hope Uzodinma became governor of Imo State from a distant fourth position in what would go down in world history as the judicial miracle of the millennium. His installation by the Supreme Court was recieved with mixed feelings and fears from Imolites who knew the chequered anticidents of the governor. Their fears have now been justified by his actions and inactions which has kept Imolites at the recieving end of what seems to be a “pharoahic” administration. Since he assumed authority, he has been force-feeding the people with the bread of affliction and bitter waters. Ranging from unpaid salaries, pensions, bad roads and unprecedented economic meltdown in the State. The latest is the ongoing bloodletting in Orlu which sadly, is the governor’s constituency.
The governor who hales from Orlu zone has kept mute while his people are being massacred and butchered by security operatives in the name of searching for ESN members. Is this how the governor wants to pay his people back? It is suprising and equally shocking that the security operatives are flexing their muscles on unarmed civilians, whereas Boko Haram is having a picnic in the north, pillaging and wreaking havock daily almost unhindered. I believe that the security operatives are aware of the rules of engagement which prohibits the shooting of unarmed civilians. If the sincerely want to fish out members of the ESN, why not go into the bushes and seek them out one after the other? Why are unarmed and obviously innocent civilians being victimized over what they don’t know about?
It is sad to note that it’s only in the Southeast that governors permit security operatives to butcher their citizens for any reason. The law is meant for everyone. Nobody is above the law. If members of ESN are alleged to have committed any crime, the security agencies are bound by law to carry out necessary investigations in order to apprehend the suspects. They are not permitted to take laws into their hands by shooting sporadically, killing, maiming and harming unarmed civilians. Such undemocratic action is likely to invite anarchy and chaos.
Based on the Orlu saga, it is now becoming crystal clear by the day on whose side Gov Uzodinma is. It is also dawning on Imolites what the governor’s mission is. No responsibile government would condone, let alone permit, the extra-judicial killing of it’s citizens. The culpable silence and inept inability of the governor to take necessary steps to stop the carnage speaks volumes of what Imolites are to expect in this administration. Nevertheless, the governor as the chief security officer of the State is squarely responsible for every security activity in the State, whether good or bad. Therefore, Imolites should hold him responsible for every single civilian killed by security operatives in the name of searching for ESN.
Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu Esq
Socio-political/ Public Affairs Analyst