Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma has ordered a holistic investigation into the remote and immediate cause of the crises that occurred in Izombe, Oguta Local Government Area of the state while advising parties in the conflict to maintain peace pending the outcome of the investigation.
Gunmen had invaded the community on Monday, killing security guards and injuring others.
Reacting to the ugly development, Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, in a statement on Wednesday said: “While the security agencies are urged to always ensure the maintenance of rules of engagement, the civilian populace are encouraged to refrain from provoking men in uniform, no matter the temptation. Imo State Government is saddened by the unfortunate events that occurred in Izombe, Oguta Local Government Area of the state recently, which led to the loss of lives and destruction of property.”
The statement further stated: “It is regrettable that in spite of advice by government on the need for restraint from untoward acts, even in the face of provocation, the fracas between illegal oil bunkerers and security agencies was allowed to snowball into fatal violence.
“Government also understands that the security agencies went on a reprisal attack after losing one of their own. But since two wrongs cannot make a right, the matter instead of abating, escalated. The government insists that no matter the situation, the rules of engagement must always apply.”