Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew in all the local councils in Orlu area of the state.
At least five residents of Okporo, a town in Orlu zone have been reportedly shot dead by officers of the Nigerian Army following a clash between the security agency and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) security outfit, Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The community was said to be the operational base of the ESN.
The clash between the two groups led to sporadic gunshots, as residents scampered for safety.
Five persons, including a middle-aged woman, were said to have been killed by stray bullets from guns of the Nigerian Army while some properties were burnt. See Also
In a statement released after an emergency security council meeting of the state executive council on Monday, Governor Uzodinma said “those behind this callous barbarism will surely regret their actions”.
The statement read, “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.
“I am totally appalled by this sad report which appears to paint a picture of a 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 government wants to assure all Imo people that the situation in the Orlu area is under control. Security operatives have been deployed on a 24-hour patrol of the zone. 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.
“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 unfurnished.”