Embattled governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has vowed not to negotiate with criminal elements terrorizing the state.
Speaking at Government House Chapel, Owerri on Sunday, May 2, Uzodinma said he was poised to ensure the security of lives and property in the state.
He disclosed that security agencies have identified those behind the recent disturbances in the state.
According to him, in a few days time, the names of the criminal elements will be unveiled together with what they did so that they could face justice.
He assured that government will use all within its powers to identify and flush out criminals in the state, promising that his government cannot fold its arms and allow terror reign in the state.
Governor Uzodinma said: “Government will never and is not going to negotiate with criminals.
“Anyone involved in any form of criminality aimed at bringing down Imo State by any means should have a rethink or such persons will have themselves to blame.”
He said those out to bring the state down must be prepared to be brought down as well.
Governor Uzodinma thanked the people of Imo State for their understanding and resilience throughout the period of security breaches and skirmishes.
He reiterated that the mayhem in Imo State was carried out by hoodlums, bandits and a small percentage of IPOB members and aggrieved politicians who decided to sponsor violence to derail his government.
He promised that the government will always use its powers in line with the oath it swore to protect the people and their property, emphasizing that no individual, group or criminals will be stronger than government.
The governor also warned the people of Imo State, especially political appointees, to be careful with what they say or post on the social media, insisting that one may be interacting with criminals and bandits “knowingly or unknowingly”.
He further challenged Imo people to always search their consciences, ask themselves some pertinent questions as to why they are not happy with themselves or with the government.
In his homily, the Chaplain Government House Chapel, Rev. Gilbert Alaribe enjoined Christians to be bold in their dealings just like Paul and Barnabas in the scripture.
He emphasized that the society needs people of boldness like Barnabas who stood firm at all times in trying moments.
He said that only God’s intervention in the period like the country is experiencing now will solve the insecurity challenges faced by states and the country.