Governor Hope Uzodimma has pledged to probe the circumstances surrounding the death of some people in Imo during the period the state was gripped by insecurity.
To that effect, the governor has promised to set up a Commission of Inquiry to look into the cases of killings in Imo State occasioned by the recent security challenges.
He dropped the hint on Saturday when he met with leaders from Imo State at the Banquet Hall, Government House Owerri as part of activities to mark the 2021 Democracy Day.
Earlier in the day Governor Uzodimma had a statewide broadcast followed by his appearanece at the Imo State Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) for a phone-in programmme that lasted for on hour where he told his listeners that a Commission of Inquiry had become necessary so that Imo people will have a clearer picture of what happened few weeks ago when some lives were lost as a result of fight against insecurity in the state.
Governor Uzodimma told the Imo stakeholders that in the next two weeks, the Commission would be set up and the members inaugurated with the task of establishing the immediate and remote causes of the lives lost in the state and what should be done by government.
The Governor took time to explain to the leaders of Imo state made up of politicians, traditional leaders, church leaders, youths, market men and women, among others what his government has been able to do in the state in the past one year of coming into office and how suddenly, insecurity was instigated by enemies of the state who thought his administration was getting popular based on his people-oriented programmes.
Governor Uzodimma noted that the resolve of his administration to implement the Whitepaper on Recovery of Lands and Property in Imo was the turning point in the state of insecurity in Imo but promised that his government has risen to the challenge.
He said it was regrettable that lives were lost in an attempt to secure Imo and the people, but promised that those who lost their lives will not die in vain as they would be immortalised.
“Imo people must know those behind the killings and insecurity in the state and in two weeks time we would have set up a Commission of Inquiry on the killings of innocent people in Imo state,” Governor Uzodimma explained.
He urged Ndi Imo to relegate their selfish interest for the interest of Imo, noting that only those who are ready to key into his vision of sacrifice for Imo will continue to earn his trust, either as friends or as appointees of government.
Governor Uzodimma reminded the Imo leaders that democracy has provide the opportunity for the people to participate actively in the way they are governed, and appealed to them not to show just passing interest in the affairs of their locality since democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people.
He told Imo people to join hands with the government to secure the state, noting that from reports available to him, “Imo is now safe for normal activities both in the day and at night.”
The governor reiterated that Imo has always been a peaceful state and that it must be the responsibility of all Imolites to ensure that the peace that the state is noted for is sustained.
He urged them to continue to assist the law enforcement agencies in the state in their quest to work top ensure that peace reigns in Imo.
Earlier at the phone-in programme, Governor Uzodimma said that his administration had taken steps to visit and commiserate with the families of policemen who lost their lives in Imo and that through the Commissioner of Police,N5million was handed over to each of the families of the policemen who lost their lives. “There is no compensation that can equate the life lost, but we owe it a duty to identify with the families of the deceased policemen as a responsible government. We are also looking forward to immortalising those who lost their lives during this period in Imo.”
Governor Uzodimma also took time to explain that those who claim they were contractors that worked for the Imo State Universal Basic Education Board (IMSUBEB), and that the government is owing them are simply being deceived.
He noted that many people went to forge IMSUBEB contract letter and that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) had long dismissed the documents being paraded by such persons as forged. “People went and forged contract award letters of IMSUBEB. There was no contract agreement.And BPP has said there was no such thing. Any contractor who claims there was a contract should come with the agreement so that we can go and verify/identify the contract site,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Imo stakeholders who honoured the invitation for the democracy day lunch at the Government House, former Governor Ikedi Ohakim who proposed the toast said that Governor Uzodimma’s government is not only on the track, but that the Governor has surpassed the expectation of many Imolites. Chief Ohakim urged Imo people to lend their support to Governor Uzodimma, noting that he has demonstrated capacity for good governance and ability to relate well with all Imo people.
Highlights of the event was the cutting of Democracy Day cake by the Governor assisted by his Deputy, Prof. Placid Njoku and other former governors, deputies and critical stakeholders in Imo, including those from security agencies.