Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma on Tuesday maintained that he was right to have invited the military into Orlu community of the state.
The Governor said the military invasion is justified because certain criminal elements threatening the peace of the state had to be flushed out.
He made the submission while speaking with newsmen shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.
Despite the criticisms that have followed his action, Uzodinma on Tuesday maintained that the military invasion of Orlu is justified.
It will be recalled as earlier reported by Naija News that Uzodinma, speaking at a press briefing on Friday through the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Cyprian Akaolisa on why he invited the military, accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu of planning to use the Eastern Security Network (ESN) to cause trouble in the State particularly in Orlu.
He said the group, hiding under the pretext of chasing out Fulani herdsmen from the area plan to cause havoc in the community but he moved against them by bringing in the soldiers to maintain peace and secure the area.
He said further that the ESN had already killed several policemen and innocent residents of the area but he had to move to stop further bloodshed.
When a reporter asked him on Tuesday why he decided to unleash the military on his people at a time his counterparts in the Northern part of the country are negotiating with bandits to resolve their security challenges, the governor responded, “On the issue of bringing the military to Imo State, you will recall that during the EndSARS protests, a lot of properties were damaged in the state; police stations were burnt down, soldiers were killed, their rifles removed from them.
“Immediately after the EndSARS, we thought it was over. Then, issues of kidnapping came up. A Catholic bishop was kidnapped. And these militants came out and started shooting. We have lost lives; market women were killed; old women were raped in Orlu area of Imo state and they visited this serious terror on the citizenry.
“Then, I came here and pleaded with Mr President for his support and he sent additional support by sending in police and the military. That is where we are. It was at my invitation that the military came.
“I did that because I know the situation was beyond the local arrangement, we needed help. And the help was given to us. As I speak to you, the situation has come down to normal. People are now going about their business.
Uzodinma added that those arrested by security operatives will be charged to court and will face the full wrath of the law.
“Those caught will soon be charged to court. And all those military rifles from the army, the police, AK 47, and so on, were recovered by the people that came. We as a government have the responsibility to protect lives. And while we have the Nigerian Army, Nigerian police, and security challenges, we invite them to go to work.”
The Governor also ruled out the possibility of negotiating with those identified as criminals in the state.
He said: “The Federal Government may be negotiating with the Boko Haram, but God knows that if I have the opportunity to see any man who is taking lives, I will confront the person head on. That is why we are government.”
He added that he was in the Villa to brief the President on the current security situation in Imo State.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday noted that the increase in cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters, and cyber terrorists is causing tension in Nigeria.
Buhari further stated that cyber terrorists are using the internet to cause tension in the country.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina quoted Buhari saying this in a statement titled, ‘Why we must curb criminalities, use internet for national security and economic progress, by President Buhari’, on Tuesday.
Buhari while speaking at the launch of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 in Abuja, called for restructuring in the national strategy on cybersecurity.
He called on Nigerians to use the internet for economic growth opportunities, enhancement of knowledge, and mitigation of crime.