The Imo state governor, Hope Uzodimma, on Tuesday, said the Department of State Services, DSS, would give details of what transpired regarding the alleged killings of youths at Awommama, Oru East Local Government Area, and Otulu community, Oru West Local Government Area of the state.
Uzodimma disclosed this to journalists in Owerri through his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Oguwike Nwachukwu, after a security council meeting at the government house in Owerri regarding the incident.
Uzodimma said for now, the DSS had briefed his government in an interim report made available to him (Uzodimma).
It was reported that the youths, who were returning from a traditional wedding ceremony in Awomamma in Oru East to Otulu in Oru West LGA, were attacked by suspected members of the Ebubeagu security outfit.
In the encounter, no fewer than 14 youths were attacked, and reportedly seven were killed and many injured last Sunday.
According to the statement, “Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that the government will not be deterred by propaganda and blackmail in its quest to protect the lives and property of Imo citizens."
“The government had been briefed on the incident by the DSS in an interim report made available to members of the Security Council."
The DSS Director confirmed that his men carried out an operation in a camp at Awommama with the assistance of their informant and not at a wedding place, as claimed by the youths, and that it was in the process that some bandits were neutralised.
“The Security Council awaits a detailed report on the incident." It is important that the public be wary of those using the incident as a propaganda tool to blackmail the security agencies and the government.
“Governor Uzodimma also used the opportunity to describe as a fallacy the claim on the social media and section of the traditional media about a 15-year-old girl allegedly impregnated in the DSS detention.
According to the Governor, a security report indicated that two ladies who were caught with bandits about six months ago have been helping the DSS in identifying and arresting other dangerous bandits in the State.
“Incidentally, the so-called 15-year-old lady happens to be the girlfriend of a key gang leader of the bandits terrorising the State, who is on the trail by DSS operatives."
The Governor said the security report has shown that the fleeing gang leader had reached out to his sponsors, who have resorted to using the 15-year-old lady in question to blackmail the DSS and divert attention.
“The whole thing boils down to propaganda and blackmail targeted at the security agencies." You know, I will never allow anything ungodly to happen in Imo State.
“Their target is to puncture the relative peace the security agencies have helped us to achieve in Imo State, and we are determined to sustain the peace."
“We won’t be deterred and no amount of propaganda and blackmail will deter the security agencies from doing their work."
“The governor, however, urged newsmen to carry out their investigation into the 15-year-old girl’s case,” Governor Uzodimma said.