The Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, has called on the Imo State Governor, Mr. Hope Uzodimma to stop the killings by whoever is responsible in the state.
Bishop Obinna said the governor being the chief security officer of the state should rise up to the security challenges and also convene a stakeholders meeting to discuss and evolve solutions to the security challenges.
His call was contained in an open letter, titled “Stop the Killings – Convene a ceasefire meeting – Save Imo – a charge to Governor. Hope Uzodimma and all Stakeholders”.
The Bishop condemned the indiscrinate arrest and incessant killings of young ones in their primes in the state describing it as a worrisome development.
He recounted the gory sight of 35 corpses dumped at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Owerri and 160 Indiscriminately arrested persons sequestered at the Federal Correctional Centre, at the state capital.
Bishop Obinna said, “On June 3, I visited the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri mortuary, and I painfully surveyed the 35 corpses naked on the bare floor, dumped there within the last few days.
“These were victims of runaway killers with no identification on them.
“I thought of many others who have been kidnapped, taken to unknown locations, killed and even butchered, as we continue to hear, Imo is bleeding.
“I personally went to the Federal Correctional Centre, Owerri to also see the 160 young men arrested from various locations, accused and arraigned for planning to commit treasonable felony.
“On behalf of those that were killed and even more, on behalf of the living now threatened daily with brutal death, I charge Uzodimma to stop the killings by whoever is responsible.
“I equally charge all users and abusers of guns and deadly weapons to stop the killings, to renounce violence and denounce any show of pride in killing human beings,” he said.
It would be recalled that Imo state has been turned to a battle field in recent times and security agencies have accused the separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and the Eastern Security Network of being behind the burning of government facilities and killing of security agents.
However, some persons have alleged that some of the Unknown Gunmen causing havoc in the state were sponsored by external forces to destabilize South-East.
Recently, after the burning of the Police headquarters and the Correctional center in the state during which 400 people were arrested in connection with the incident, by security agencies, Governor Uzodimma said about 70 percent of them were neither Igbo nor from the South-East.
But neither the governor nor the security agencies have been able to disclose the identity of the non South East people said to constitute 70 percent of those arrested.
While Police has maintained that IPOB was responsible for the criminality going on in the state, the group has on many occasions denied involvement in most of the gruesome murder going on in South-East.