Gunmen operating in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State have been given two weeks to vacate or have themselves to blame.
A group, Odinma Orsu Initiative, OOI, gave the warning following several attacks by bandits operating in the area.
Although the group did not disclose the method it would apply to dislodge the bandits, it vowed to declare total war on them in the LGA.
Orsu LGA has been under heavy attacks by gunmen for a couple of years, leading to loss of lives and displacement of indigenes.
The bandits were said to have invaded the suburbs including Orsuihitteukwa, Awo-idemili, Eziawa-Orsu, Orsu-ihittenasaa, Elugwu-Okabia, Umuhu-Okabia and some others parts of the LGA, causing residents to flee their homes for fear of the unknown.
According to the group, hundreds of lives had been lost and properties worth millions destroyed. They lamented that the LGA was currently deserted.
In a meeting in Owerri, the state capital, OOI resolved that the residents of the LGA would no longer be cowed and made to live in perpetual fear because of the activities of gunmen in their land.
The group’s President, Eze-elect E. I Nwokeji, said all sorts of bandits ranging from kidnappers, assassins, arsonists, cultists and various other outlaws, who have held the area hostage, were advised to pack out within two weeks.
He regretted that the residents of the LGA had been on the run for two years and half as a result of continued attacks by men of the underworld.
“Orsu LGA, my own LGA has been a shadow of itself for two years and half now. As I speak, bandits have taken over our land and we have been made strangers in our own land. We rarely visit our homes for fear of being killed.
“We just finished a security meeting of all Orsu stakeholders and have taken a decision on the issue. We are giving these bandits terrorising our communities two weeks to vacate our land or have themselves to blame.
“We have exhausted all avenues to identify them and dialogue with them but since they chose to take sleep from our eyes by killing, kidnapping and terrorising our communities, we shall not continue to rest on our oars and watch them perpetrate so many dastardly acts in our land,” he said.
Nwokeji disclosed that they were working in consonance with Imo State government to engage the aggrieved groups to surrender their arms and ammunition in exchange for amnesty, stating that the aggrieved persons have two weeks ultimatum to surrender or face stiff action.
On the other hand, the stakeholders had demanded that the government pull out the police, the military and Ebubeagu militia from the area to let the aggrieved persons sheath their swords.