“I urge the Governor to convoke a Ceasefire Meeting of all Imo Stakeholders, no matter their disposition or leaning, for a concerted approach to quench the bloody fire already ravaging Imo People and destroying Imo State,” the Local Ordinary of Owerri says in his June 3 statement obtained by ACI Africa.
He continues, “I equally charge all users and abusers of guns and deadly weapons to stop the killings, to renounce violence and to denounce any show of pride in killing fellow human beings.”
Tension has been on the rise in Imo State following clashes between gunmen and the Nigerian Police.
Last month, at least nine gunmen were killed during an attack on the Orlu police station, according to media reports.
An aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, was shot dead last week in Imo State.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Bala Elkana, “On May 30, 2021, at about 07:20hrs, armed bandits intercepted and attacked a Toyota Camry cab, carrying Ahmed Gulak and two others, who were on their way to Sam Mbakwe Airport to catch a flight.”
He added, “Six armed bandits who rode in a Toyota Sienna intercepted, identified and shot Ahmed Gulak around Umueze Obiangwu in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area, close to the Airport.”
Owerri ThisDay newspaper reported Thursday, June 3 that gunmen invaded the Orji area in Owerri killing three persons in different locations. The operation lasted for more than an hour, as the armed men moved around the area shooting sporadically.
In his June 3 statement, Archbishop Obinna makes reference to some of the cases of violence and arbitrary arrests in Imo State saying, “On Wednesday the 26 May 2021 I personally went to the Federal Correctional Centre, Owerri, to see the one hundred and six young men arrested from various locations, accused and charged to court jointly for planning to commit a treasonable felony. They are yet to be released.”
“On Thursday the 3rd June 2021, I visited the Owerri Federal Medical Centre, Mortuary. As I painfully surveyed the thirty-five corpses stark naked on the bare floor, stealthily dumped there within the last few days, victims of run-away killers, military, police and unknown gunmen, 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,” the Nigerian Archbishop recounts.