As part of concerted efforts to address the security challenges in Imo State, Governor Hope Uzodimma has directed traditional rulers and the police to immediately mop up arms in the hands of unauthorised individuals.
The monarchs and the police are also expected to work in tandem with the Interim Management Committee Chairmen and Town Union Presidents across the 27 Local Government Areas of the State for the exercise.
At a meeting Governor Uzodimma had with the traditional rulers and Council Chairmen at the Imo State Executive Council Chambers, Government House Owerri, Thursday, he said”there is the compelling need to strengthen the security situation at the rural areas, hence the essence of the meeting.”
The governor said Government had discovered that the recent security-related developments in Imo demands that security be beefed up at the rural areas “as a way of reducing the vulnerability of our people in the hands of hoodlums.”
The Governor regretted that report as indicated that most of those who carried out the hatchet jobs in the communities around the state are from the locality, hence the need for the Traditional rulers and IMC Chairmen and others at the Local Government and Autonomous Communities to put heads together to stop the menace.
Governor Uzodimma therefore proceeded to mandate them to ensure that no arm or weapon is found in the hands of people not authorised to hold such.
The Governor said: “Any incident again that is blamed on complacency, the IMCs and the Traditional Rulers will be held responsible.”
He further directed the Traditional rulers to warn their subjects who have turned themselves into willing-tools in the hands of the devils to traumatize Imo people to desist forthwith or have themselves to blame as “government is about to implement the Security Organization Law recently signed to come into full operation.”
He emphasized that the implementation will be in an indigenous manner that reflects, “Bottom-Top- Approach”.
The Governor noted that the implementation will take the form of a “Security Council” existing in the locality with the Traditional rulers as the Chairmen and members to include President General of Town Unions, Youth Leaders, Woman Leaders and others.
The functions of the Security Council will among others include: fishing out the criminals in the communities and collating intelligence for security agencies to work with.
It was an opportunity Governor Uzodimma used to send out a warning to detractors and those threatening to make Imo State ungovernable that he will never fold his arms and allow them succeed.
Responding, the Chairman, Traditional Institution and Community Policing, Imo State, HRH Eze Emmanuel Okeke of Amaifeke in Orlu LGA thanked the Governor for inviting them to the briefing on security matters in the State, promising that the Traditional Rulers will work with the government to secure Imo State.
Adding his voice, the ALGON Chairman and IMC Chairman of Oru-West Local Government Area of Imo State, Chief Willy Okolieogwo, on behalf of his colleagues expressed his happiness on the invitation of the Governor to discuss the most disturbing issue in the State currently, and pledged their total support to the efforts and processes embarked upon by the Governor and Government of Imo State to fight insecurity in Imo.