The Imo State government has condemned as “inappropriate response,” the action of the soldiers who burnt houses, shops, vehicles of residents of Awonmanma in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, last Monday in retaliation for the killing of a soldier by gunmen.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, who stated the position of the Hope Uzodinma led government in a statement on Tuesday, argued that two wrongs would not make a right.
He, however, ordered a full-blown investigation to ascertain the cause of the crisis and the extent of loss of properties involved.
The government condemned the killing of a soldier and the burning of properties belonging to Awo-omama residents, promising to assist the victims to recover from the loss.
“Imo State Government is shocked and dismayed over the events in Awo-omama in Oru East local government area of the state. The ugly event is regrettable and avoidable,” the statement said.
“Government condemns the murder of a soldier by the so-called unknown gunmen. Certainly, this soldier who was on a legitimate duty to ensure free flow of traffic and to protect lives and property on this fateful Monday of November 22nd did not deserve to die such a gruesome death.
“On the other hand, government deprecates reports of wanton destruction of property visited on the community by aggrieved soldiers. The indiscriminate burning of residential and businesses premises of innocent citizens was not an appropriate response since two wrongs will never make a right. Government has good reasons to believe that there is more to the sad event than meets the eyes.
“Consequently, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma, the Executive Governor of Imo State has ordered a high-powered investigation into the incident to unravel the cause of the crisis and the attendant loss of lives and property.
“Government, therefore, advises both parties to exercise utmost restraint and maintain peace while the investigation lasts. Government appreciates the enormous sacrifice by security agencies with the attendant risks, to keep lmo for all law-abiding citizens. Equally, government restates its charge to security agencies in the state to always abide by the rules of engagement as spelled out by their services while carrying out their legitimate assignments.
“On the other hand, communities are advised to always cooperate with security agencies to track down and arrest criminals in their midst.
“Finally, government extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of the dead soldier while deeply sympathising with the victims of the crisis, promising to take immediate measures to ameliorate their losses while at the same time, ensuring that such an ugly incident does not re-occur,” the Imo government promised.