The governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Friday, said he invited soldiers to the troubled Orlu Local Government Area of the state to restore peace following an alleged killing of ‘several policemen and innocent citizens in the area’ by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Uzodinma stated this while briefing the press in Owerri. Represented by the state attorney general and commissioner for justice, Mr Cyprain Akaolisa, the governor said allegations that ‘innocent people were being killed by the military’ were aimed at shifting attention from the truth. He said intelligence reports revealed that IPOB planned to attack Orlu people and the government under the pretext of looking for Fulani herdsmen.
In his words, “The attacks on police stations and killing of policemen during #EndSARS were carried out by IPOB and not protesting youths for the sole purpose of hijacking and stealing weapons. They are now using those arms to destroy Orlu. They killed 10 policemen, a prominent Orlu son, Ignatius Obiezu and one Emmanuel Okeke (Soludo), and collected their Hilux vehicles.
“The IPOB also shot and killed four Moslems doing their business in Orlu. IPOB said they were looking for herdsmen, but these victims they killed before the crisis. Were they herdsmen? We heard Nnamdi Kanu celebrating the activities of his men in Orlu that they are doing well by killing innocent citizens. There’s no Fulani herdsmen in Orlu.
“So, we asked ourselves, what is the colouration that IPOB is trying to give this onslaught in Orlu That’s why our government decided to invite military to flush out IPOB and their so-called ESN. We discovered that there was a camp which IPOB established at Umutanze, Orlu, and we sent police to dislodge them. But, it happened that they attacked the policemen and killed two of them. It was after they killed those policemen that government had to bring in the military.
“It was not easy for the military to push them out of that place. But the military succeeded. That was why they came on a reprisal attack and killed the innocent ones. They also relocated to Udah in Orsu LGA, a camp at a boundary between Imo and Anambra States. The place is a very depressed groove that no one can easily enter.
“For the past two weeks, surveillance was monitoring that place and there were more than 200 people being trained in that camp. The military had to deploy their arsenal to diminish the IPOB people there. We can’t do that. We can’t fold our arms for these boys to continue to kill people every day.”