…Accuses former political office holders of conspiracy of silence
By Egena Sunday Ode
Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, Tuesday in Abuja said he alone cannot restore or guarantee security in the crisis-ridden state.
Speaking to correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the governor said other stakeholders including traditional rulers, religious leaders, politicians, among others must engage more with the people to restore peace in the state.
He said rather than sit down only to blame the government or President Muhammadu Buhari for the unwholesome happenings in the country, citizens should rise up and get more involved in ensuring that the country is safe for all.
“In Imo state as I speak to you, only me cannot restore security. Only me cannot guarantee security. I have to work with traditional rulers; have to work with opinion leaders; I have to work with the youth leaders to be able to deploy community kind of security programme, to be able to resist what is going on today.
“But you have heard how people will come from outside the state in the name of unknown gunmen. I don’t know when we will begin to know this people and they will commit atrocities, and they will now flee.
“So these are the things. I want to use this opportunity to invite all leaders, religious leaders, political leaders, community leaders, traditionally institution to join hands, because the only country we have is this Nigeria, we don’t have another country. And if we’re not united we will achieve nothing. We must contribute our quota, however it is to ensure that Nigeria remains a strong, united a place that we will go about our businesses, equity and justice is guaranteed. And then we have a country,” the governor said.
Governor Uzodinma also accused former political office holders who have failed to speak out against the activities of trouble makers of conspiracy if silence, saying that they have questions to answer.
He said if they had been speaking out in condemnation of the nefarious activities of those destabilizing the country, things would have been different.
“I am saying and I want to say it again, that cases of insecurity here and there in the country, had not been helped by the posture of opposition party and some aggrieved politicians. Reason being that at the time like this in Nigeria, anybody worth his onion as a leader should be able to speak out.
“How many of them are speaking out? How many of them are condemning what is going on? Rather what you see are leaders fanning the embers of insecurity, blaming only government. We must be tired of this blame thing by now and then contribute our own quota towards ensuring that national security is not further threatened in the country.
“So, it is not something for politics. It’s something that if you are a former senate president, or you are a former speaker, or a former deputy senate president, or a former deputy speaker, and things like this are happening in the country, and you are not able to speak out, and we’re not seeing you where you are engaging in addressing the young men and women in your area on the need for a united Nigeria.
“And this is a country that has given you opportunity to serve at that level one time or the other, then it is either overtly or covertly, you have questions to answer,” according to him.
While he noted that he was in the presidential villa to brief the president on the situation in the state, he admitted that all is not well with the country.
The governor admonished that those who are destroying government property must be ready to face the consequences.
He said: “What we are trying to destroy is the sovereignty of the country. And we shouldn’t encourage that. And whatever government has taken as a position, I think there are two things: either you respect government and not destroy government assets, or you destroy government assets and face the consequences. Those are the two things.
“So let us not pretend, as if all is well; all is not well. Leaders must rise to ensure that they walk hand in hand with government to ensure their security in the country.”