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Former Governor of Imo State Chief Rochas Okorocha has called on Governor Hope Uzodinma to apply wisdom rather than confrontation in trying to address security challenges facing the State.
He said the idea of using the Airforce and Army as a first measure would further aggravate the situation.
” I think the time has come for political leaders to tell ourselves the truth and address this ugly situation and also help our arm forces and the police. We are currently fighting the symptom and not the disease of poverty and injustice, something must be done urgently if we are willing and ready to address the situation.” he said while speaking with Journalists on Thursday in Jos.
“During my time as a Governor of Imo State, we applied wisdom in the sense that we talked to the traditional rulers and other stakeholders. There was a moment that IPOB wants to close down Imo State after shutting down Anambra and Abia States, I engaged the youths to convince me that, that was the way to go. But after the engagement, we all reasoned together.
“But this idea of bringing Airforce and Army as a first measure aggravate the situation. But for anybody to say politicians are involved is trying to politicize the matter. I don’t think any sane politician will go and ask the youths to shoot at police headquarters.”
“Meanwhile, what I will urge the Imo State Government to do is to relocate the Police headquarters and the correctional service because the location is wrong. When I was the Governor I built standard Correctional Service that can occupy about 3,300 inmates at a good location but it is not being put to use.”
He charges Governor Hope Nzodimma taking the challenge of leadership serious and engage in wide consultation, adding that if the Governor had contacted him on how he addressed the situation during his time he would have preferred useful advice.
“If the Governor had contacted me on how I handled IPOD, kidnapping issues during my time, I would have told him how I handled them. We must always understand that these children, the youths are our children. What we need to do is to engage them, if we are saying they are criminals, we are also fathers of criminals and mothers of criminals.
“The situation is overwhelming because we are not engaging them. There’s no difference between these youths and mine. I am able to control mine because I engaged them. So we should toe the path of peace instead of politicizing the issue.” he said
“However, I condemn in its entirety, the killing of any innocent soul because life is sacred and is a property of God. No one has the right to take anyone’s life under any guise. So while I call for peace, I call for understanding. We have a duty as leaders to correct this ugly issue of injustice in this country and poverty ravaging our nation,” he said.
He implored both the state and federal governments to apply wisdom and engage the youths constructively instead of trying to politicize the issue.