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After the EndSARS protests which took Nigeria by storm in October, several state Governors slammed curfews on their citizens to further curtail the mayhem which was caused by hoodlums and protesters alike. States like Abia State, Lagos State, Kogi State, Enugu State, Rivers State all gave curfews based on the level of destruction in the state. In line with this, the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma had slammed a 6 am to 6 pm curfew on Imo indigenes.
Based on circumstances, curfews are meant to be reviewed and removed whenever the state of things have taken a calmer note. But to Governor Hope Uzodinma, the EndSARS protests and curfew opened a long-awaited window of opportunity which he used to his favour to further subjugate, intimidate and instill fear in Imo State indigenes and he did this with the help of his bosom partner in terror, Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai.
It should be recalled that Buratai just recently described Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State as a pillar of support to the Nigerian Army. He also described Imo State as a friendly state to the Nigerian Army.
Governor Hope Uzodinma on this note had requested that Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai order some of his men into Imo State not only to further give assurance of better security in the State but also to instill unnecessary fear among Imolites by harrassment. These soldiers numbering in their thousands have saturated the state especially at the state’s capital in Owerri. They are at every major junction in the state and their patrol vans can be seen in the middle of the roads serving as roadblocks, blocking off traffic while they scrutinise vehicles.
Had it been that the activities of these soldiers were very professional and coordinated, there would have been no cause for alarm. But Governor Hope Uzodinma in his usual paranoid nature had alleged that he was about to be overthrown by the opposition parties who have infiltrated the EndSARS protests in the State. Therefore he directed that the military personnel rough handle any individual who they suspect to be part of the protest.
There have been stories of intimidation by this military personnel in the State’s capital. Business owners, daily commuters, and pedestrians are subjected to degrading punishments by these soldiers in broad daylight. Most of them are whipped, asked to ‘frog jump’ or lie shirtless under the direct heat of the blazing sun for little or no offenses regardless of age or gender. Many Imolites have had terrible encounters with these security officials these past few days despite the curfew being relaxed by the state government.
The situation is worse in places like Orji, Amawozu, and the Government House road close to Douglas. The military officials stationed at these places have been known to be extremely brutal with citizens. Commuters in these areas have lamented the seizure of many vehicles while they are forced into parting with some good sum of money before their cars or motorcycles are handed back to them. Party cars bearing opposition party flags have also been seized and their drivers mercilessly beaten to a point where they require adequate medical services for their injuries. Movement is somewhat restricted in these areas and people move around with their hearts in their mouths as the brutal army officials glower at them with unnecessary hate in their eyes,
Imolites have decried this wickedness by Governor Hope Uzodinma. No one exactly knows why a peaceful state like Imo State would be cordoned off and saturated with military personnel when there has been no known criminal activity warranting the use of military force.
Governor Hope Uzodinma has as usual shown his terrible disregard for the peaceful people of Imo State. His connivance with Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai to further intimidate and subjugate Imolites into unnecessary allegiance to his fraudulent, crime filled government is an act that will definitely backfire against him in the nearest future. Imolites have never been known to be cowards and it would take more than a tyrant and a brutal General to cow them into unnecessary fealty to a government that is failing them.
For General Buratai, he has never been known for any noble act as a senior Army officer. His name has always been synonymous with evil. It is utterly pathetic that Nigeria is bedeviled with a sinister fellow like Buratai in the name of Chief of Army Staff but not to worry, a day of reckoning is approaching when both he and his partner in iniquity, and crime; Hope Uzodinma will face the music for their callousness on humanity.
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