It is no longer a secret, that not long ago, Izombe Community of Oguta local government area in Imo State, experienced a mayhem that led to the burning of about 70 houses, 15 vehicles, and some other valuables. Although there are varying accounts of what really happened, one common thing with each version of the story is that the problem was caused by the activities of oil thieves, which later involved soldiers.
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The incident, which allegedly claimed the lives of 2 soldiers (source: Vanguard News), eventually snowballed into an event that saw the burning of several houses and vehicles in the community. Since the ugly incident took place, many people in Imo state, have looked up to the State’s Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, to react to it, as the Chief Security Officer of the State. Eventually, the Governor has reacted to the incident.
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As obtained from the Vanguard News, in a statement issued by Governor Hope Uzodinma, through his Chief Press Secretary, Oguwike Nwachukwu, the Governor commiserated with the families of the 2 soldiers killed in Izombe, and also vowed to setup a panel to look into the remote and immediate causes of the feud, and recommend what would stop a repeat of such incident. The governor also condemned an attack on the military, and the carting away of their rifles by youths.
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There is no doubt that the Governor’s statement is necessary at this point in time. However, it is my view that the statement is one-sided, lacking some elements which would have made it to be balanced. One major thing that is lacking from the Governor’s condolence message, is his failure to take into account, the loss of Izombe Community, who were at the receiving end of whatever transpired between the soldiers, and the oil thieves.
It can be argued that in a situation like this, the Governor’s message ought to have considered the people whose houses were burnt, and also how to compensate the innocent ones among them. However, the Governor only commiserated with the families of the 2 soldiers killed, while owners of the about 70 houses, 15 vehicles, and 25 motorcycles there were burnt, are left to nurse the wounds.
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