Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State in South-East Nigeria has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew (6 pm to 6 am) in 10 Local Government Areas of Orlu zone in the state.
The curfew followed a clash between officers of the Nigerian Army and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) established by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The clash was said to have been triggered after some soldiers were attacked for allegedly assaulting some youths in Orlu town on Sunday night.
Four persons, including a middle-aged woman, were reportedly killed by stray bullets while some properties were burnt.
In a press briefing Monday evening, Uzodinma vowed to bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice.
“This afternoon, I received a very disturbing report on the activities of a group of Militants who unleashed a shooting spree in the Orlu area of the state, killing and maiming innocent citizen in the process,” he said.
“I am totally appalled by this sad report which appears to paint a picture of near breakdown of law and order in the Orlu area. The government condemns in its entirety this act of extreme hooliganism and brigandage.
“This is completely unacceptable to this administration. Those behind this callous barbarism will surely regret their actions.
“Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to fish out without fail, all those behind the carnage and immediately bring them to book.
“Let no one be in any doubt that the perpetrators of this dastardly act will ever escape justice. I assure them that they will pay for their cruelty against a peace loving, innocent people.
“As an interim measure to immediately restore the peace in Orlu zone, a dusk to dawn curfew (6 pm to 6 am) is hereby imposed in the following Local Government Areas of Orlu zone; namely; Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideao South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele & Nkwerre.
“All law-abiding citizens are advised to comply strictly with the curfew as announced. Anyone caught violating the curfew will be treated as a suspect.
“The government wants to assure all Imo people that the situation in Orlu area is under control. Security operatives have been deployed on a 24-hour patrol of the zone.
“Equally, every security measure necessary has been put in place to ensure that law-abiding citizens can go about their businesses in the affected areas without any fear of molestation.”
On behalf of the government, the governor commiserated with the families of the bereaved and all the victims of the unfortunate incident.
“I assure them that those who committed the heinous crime against them and their loved ones will never go unpunished,” Uzodinma added.