The Imo State Government has condemned the crisis in Awo-Omamma in Oru East Local Government Area of the state which claimed the life of a soldier on Monday.
ABACITYBLOG reported that unknown gunmen enforcing the sit-at-home order had engaged in a gun duel with soldiers on duty, the confrontation, however, took the life of an army officer. Avenging their colleague’s death, the soldiers reportedly set ablaze houses and shops on fire while in search of the gunmen.
Reacting in a statement issued by the state Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said the crisis was “regrettable and avoidable”.
The commissioner said that the slain soldier was on a legitimate duty when he was murdered.
The full statement read;
“Imo State Government is shocked and dismayed over the events of yesterday in Awommamma in Oru East local government area of the state. The ugly event is regrettable and avoidable.
“Government condemns the murder of a soldier by the so called unknown gunmen. Certainly, this soldier who was on a legitimate duty to ensure free flow of traffic and to protect lives and property on this fafeful Monday of November 22nd, did not deserve to die such a gruesome death.
“On the other hand, Government deprecates reports of wanton destruction of property visited on the community by aggrieved soldiers. The indiscriminate burning of residential and businesses premises of innocent citizens was not an appropriate response since two wrongs will never make a right. Government has good reasons to believe that there is more to the sad event than meets the eyes.
“Consequently, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Executive Governor of Imo State has ordered a high powered investigation into the incident to unravel the cause of the crisis and the attendant loss of life and property.
“Government therefore advises both parties to exercise utmost restraint and maintain the peace while the investigation lasts.
“Government appreciates the enormous sacrifice by security agencies with the attendant risks, to keep lmo safe for all law abiding citizens. Equally, government restates its charge to security agencies in the state to always abide by the rules of engagement as spelt out by their services while carrying out their legitimate assignments.
“On the other hand, communities are advised to always cooperate with security agencies to track down and arrest criminals in their midst.
“Finally, Government extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of the dead soldier while deeply sympathising with the victims of the crisis. Government will take immediate measures to ameliorate their losses while at same time ensuring that such an ugly incident does not recur.”