The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has declared that he cannot guarantee security in the state if left alone.
After meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Uzodimma told newsmen that stakeholders, including traditional, religious and political leaders, must engage more with the people to restore normalcy in the beleaguered state.
According to him, former political office holders, who fail to speak against the activities of trouble-makers, have questions to answer.
“If they speak out against the unwholesome activities of those destabilising the country, things would be different,” he said, adding that he was at the Villa to brief the President on the situation in the state.
While acknowledging that all is not well with the country, the governor warned that those destroying government property must be ready to face the consequences.
Although insecurity is prevalent everywhere in Nigeria, the authorities in Imo were doing their best to tackle the situation, he stated.
“So far, the situation is relatively okay in Imo State than it was. People can come around and do business. Normal life has resumed in the state. Security agencies are on top of the situation,” he said.
The governor dismissed the allegation that his recent utterances foreclosing dialogue were part of the problems fuelling the seemingly helpless situation in the state.
His words: “That is their thinking. I don’t know the kind of utterance that I have made that suggests that I closed the door. I closed no door. If you have monitored what is going on in Imo of late, you would have seen me receiving leadership by leadership according to the local council, trying to find a common way of resolving these security challenges in the state.
“It is not only Imo that has security challenges. In fact, I can even tell you that Imo’s case is better, apart from one or two cases that involved Very Important Personalities (VIPs). There has never been a time 20 persons died simultaneously or school children were kidnapped, and all that.”
On why it was difficult for him to mention names of politicians behind the insecurity in the state and get them arrested, he said: “It is not only in Imo; I didn’t limit it to Imo. I am saying, and I want to say it again, that cases of insecurity here and there in the country have not been helped by the posture of the opposition party and some aggrieved politicians.”
According to him, anybody worth his onions as a leader should be able to speak out.
“How many of them are speaking out? How many of them are condemning what is going on? Rather, what you see are leaders fanning the embers of insecurity, blaming the only government.”