By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri.
Senator Athan Achonu, the Labour Party Candidate in the November 11 election on Thursday, September 21 visited the spot where last Tuesday’s attack on security officers took place along Umualumaku road in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
Achonu expressed sadness over the loss of human lives and condemned in totality the gruesome murder of personnel whose only crime was their commitment to serving the public through the protection of lives and property.
He wondered why the security officers should experience such fate in the line of duty and called on Governor Hope Uzodinma to intelligently fish out and prosecute the culprits.
According to him “As you can see this attack happened exactly opposite the land I acquired for the Nigerian Police Force. I bought this land (pointing at the piece of land) adjoining the government hospital to erect a police station as a way of contributing to building sustainable security in the area.”
Achonu also inspected the shops and properties allegedly destroyed by soldiers in retaliation for the attack on their personnel.
Senator Achonu frowned at the level of damage to properties, belonging to innocent citizens.
He could not understand why such a level of damage should be meted out to citizens of the area, who are not responsible for the killing of the security officers.
He said: “I call on the GOC 82 Division and heads of the command to call their men to order. I understand how painful it is to lose men in the line of duty, but that should not warrant this level of destruction. This is not acceptable.
“This is the problem with our society now. The rule of the jungle is prevailing now. That’s what is increasing the spate of lawlessness in the society now. When people witness this now they become lawless themselves. What is the meaning of this?
GOC 82 DIV should call these young men to order. I know they are angry, but that’s not the way. They are supposed to be the protectors of life, not to destroy lives. The essence of governance is to protect life and property. The government should live by example. This is very very wrong. This should not happen at all.”
Furthermore, the gubernatorial hopeful bemoaned the state of lawlessness in the society.
“There is no rule of law in this country. It’s a lawless country. What do you expect when you have a governor who does not obey court orders and may be innocent of the crime,” he said.
“The police should do their work of investigation and fish out the killers, they have helicopters, drones, and intelligence. They should activate it and get the culprits and leave the innocent people alone.”
He opined that from the level of destruction he had witnessed, it was likely the plan was to make Ehime Mbano ungovernable.
“This is politics. Nothing else. This is political. They want to make Ehime Mbano ungovernable because I am from here. This is politics. Nothing else. The owners of these shops are Innocent. They will now say this is the headquarters of IPOB so that they will descend on us,” he said.
Achonu called on the president to look into what is happening in Imo State.
“The president should look into what is happening in Imo State. He fought for Abiola. He came on the scene with democratic credentials. He shouldn’t allow this to be happening. He shouldn’t associate with such characters. This (the destruction of properties) is very very wrong.”
He called on the governor to come to the aid of the community people and compensate them for their losses.
“The governor should as a matter of urgency come to their aid and rebuild the shops and houses. They cannot be left alone.”
The Labour Party flag bearer also lamented the uncommitted attitude of both the government and the Nigeria Police in providing security in the area. Senator Achonu questioned the whereabouts of the nine Armored Personnel Carriers, APC he repaired with his money running into several millions of naira.
He reasoned that if those vehicles were available, those security officers who lost their lives would have been alive today.