The Hope Uzodinma led administration in Imo State has opened up on how critics of the governor caused the Orlu crisis that recently saw security operatives in open war with militants.
According to the Commissioner for Information and Strategy Mbadiwe Emelumba, during a live programme on Darling FM, Owerri on Wednesday, the skirmish was ignited by lies fed to people that Uzodimma’s administration had reserved lands for cattle grazing.
“The opposition has been peddling this falsehood that government reserved acres of land for herdsmen in Imo State. They kept peddling that lie repeatedly until, maybe IPOB believed it and started going about, looking for where a non-existent land was. That was part of the genesis of the crisis,” Emelumba said of the role of critics in sparking the Orlu crisis.
The crisis which broke out on January 22 and lasted for six days saw Nigerian soldiers reportedly invade Orlu to search for members of IPOB’s newly formed armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Eight buildings were burnt six persons were reportedly killed during the Orlu crisis before IPOB leader ordered his ESN operatives to withdraw.
“The government holds the opposition squarely responsible for this because they knew that what they were saying was not true and they kept sending that message across.” Emelumba continued.
“It was just like when they said that the government wanted to rename Imo State University to Abba Kyari University. There was also a time they said that the governor was establishing an Almajiri school. These are lies and we know they are lies, but they keep peddling them.
Continuing on how critics fueled the Orlu crisis, he continued:
“They use it to incite insurrection. We know those who are responsible for this and they will definitely account for their action because you can’t cause this level of carnage on a people, based on the fabrication of lies and hope to get away with it.”
Emelumba said that whether it was the Eastern Security Network or an incitement or a combination of the militant group and others acting on the background, he added that “those who are behind it know themselves”.