Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has reacted to the alleged killing of 14 youths in the state.
The 14 youths were reportedly killed on Sunday, July 17, as they were returning from a traditional wedding ceremony from Awomamma in Oru East local government to Otulu community in Oru West Local government area of the state.
Governor Uzodimma said the Department of State Services, DSS, would give details of what transpired regarding the killings of youths at Awommama.
He disclosed this to newsmen 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.
It was initially 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.
During the attack, no fewer than 14 youths were killed with several others injured.
According to the statement, “Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that the government will not be deterred by propaganda and blackmail in her 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 are 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, 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-called15-year-old lady happens to be the girlfriend to a key gang leader of the bandits terrorising the State, but on the trail by DSS operatives.
“The Governor said 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 on 15-year-old girl’s case,” governor Uzodimma said.