On Friday, October 8, soldiers and youths of Izombe in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State reportedly had a clash after the killing of a youth identified as Chukwunonso Iherue of Umuokwu-Izombe and two soldiers over a misunderstanding in the oil-bearing community.
The loss of lives of innocent citizens and those of our servicemen are condemnable and must be discouraged. But the style of policing and law enforcement in the South East, which adopts scorched earth and holocaust tactics, must be condemned.
The depressing part has been the way and manner persons reported to be soldiers went on a killing and burning spree in the areas of Izombe, Eziorsu, and others, without professionally fishing out the culprits as is done globally. It is indeed, true that criminal elements have mounted assaults in parts of the South East but it’s certainly not the worst situation in the country.
Imolites are saddened by the lack of proper response by the government in these times of great grief. Governor Hope Uzodinma seems to lack the necessary conciliatory skills and peace-building. He seems a willing tool to obliterate his people on the token of every protest or dissent in his state to impress external interests.
Uzodinma as an Igboman ought to realize that Igbo society has traditionally been republican and egalitarian with resolutions made via engagement and consensus, and not knee-jerk, jackboot approach. Uzodinma’s handling of the security situation in the state with bombs and bullets is not the best way to pacify and restore the peace, serenity, and hospitality of Imo State.
President Muhammadu Buhari must not give in to suggestions that brute force is the best way of resolving whatever misgivings he might have with Ndigbo.
The Nigerian State should embrace South East as part of it.
Uche Okoronkwo writes from Abuja