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Uzodimma explains attack on Imo market, promises to compensate victims

By Collins Osuji, Owerri
23 September 2022   |   4:04 am
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that the recent attack on the popular market in the state, Eke Ututu, by security operatives resulted from a concerted efforts to tackle insecurity in the state.

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that the recent attack on the popular market in the state, Eke Ututu, by security operatives resulted from a concerted efforts to tackle insecurity in the state.

In a statement signed by the governor’s media aide, Oguwike Nwachuku, after Uzodimma addressed newsmen over the incident in Owerri on Wednesday, the governor reiterated his administration’s determination to guarantee security of life and property in the state.

He disclosed that the Eke Ututu attack, which witnessed the destruction of goods and property worth billions of naira, followed discovery by security agencies that it served “as a haven for the production of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by bandits and other criminal elements.”

He further stated that security report revealed that the market was turned into a hiding place for bandits and kidnappers, who compel traders to pay taxes to them before they could open their shops for business.

He said: “Unfortunately, on the day the military went to the market, the captain, who led the team, mistakenly stepped on an IED, carefully hidden at the place; in the process, he was badly injured such that he had to be admitted at the intensive care unit of the Federal Medical Centre Owerri.

“Angered by these developments, particularly the loss of their senior officer and the wounding of another, the Armed Forces authorised a combined operation involving their men from Imo and Anambra states at Orsu Ihitte Ukwa, particularly, the Eke Ututu axis and its neighbouring state of Anambra. It was in the process that security agencies razed the market.”

“If Eke Ututu is destroyed to give Imo people peace, the state government can rebuild it, and if, in the process, properties and items are lost, government can work out compensation, but government has the responsibility to fight crime.”

Uzodimma, however, pledged continued support to security agencies in their efforts to tackle insecurity, notwithstanding the collateral damage that may go with it.

He further said: “It is now a clarion call for people of Imo, both those residents and visiting, to volunteer information that will lead to managing insecurity in the state.”