The Imo Economic Development Initiative (IEDI), a not-for-profit, non-political think-tank, has decried the state of insecurity in the state, even as it called on all concerned parties to embrace peace.
Equally important, the IEDI has expressed his determination to facilitate an all-inclusive stakeholders’ meeting to address the worrisome situation and fashion a way forward.
The group, which has Prof. Maurice Iwu as Chairman, made this known after it rose from an emergency meeting held on Sunday, June 6, 2021.
In a statement signed by Chief Jerry Chuwueke, Chairman of the ad-hoc committee set up to address the security situation in Imo State, IEDI condemned the wave of bloodletting, wanton attacks on security personnel, security formations and destruction of government facilities, including prisons, police stations and INEC offices in the state.
Furthermore, it pleaded with the actors to cease the destruction and give peace a chance.
‘‘We plead with all concerned to stop these killings, bloodletting and destructions going on in Imo State, as this is no way to advance the course of any legitimate agitations and/or frustrations as regards the feelings of marginalisation, inequality, injustice and lack of inclusion by most of our people, real or perceived in the Project Nigeria,’’ the statement read in part.
In addition, the group expressed concerns over the devastating effects of the security situation on the economy of the state. It noted that Imo State, which was previously renowned as a strong brand in hospitality, leisure, entertainment and education, has now become a theatre of war and bloodletting, adding that the development has left the people traumatized and the economy on its knees.
Consequently, IEDI says the proposed stakeholders’ meeting, which is set to hold soon, will go a long way in redressing the grievances and charting a path forward for the state.
“This (stakeholders’ meeting) will accord representatives of all Imo State stakeholders, including senators of the three zones in Imo state past and present, all House of Representative members from Imo State past and present, all…members of Imo State House of Assembly past and present, traditional rulers, the business community, town unions’ President General, political party leaders, student bodies’ executives and youth organisations executives, Imo Government and security agencies, the opportunity to come together and discuss in order to fashion a way forward and restore peace and normalcy,’’ it disclosed.
Meanwhile, IEDI has urged the Imo State Government to stand strong to protect the lives and properties of the people, in addition to taking all necessary steps to diffuse the situation and restore normalcy. Also, it condemned any act of disrespect for the fundamental human rights of Imo citizens by security agents, including indiscriminate arrests, unlawful detentions, extrajudicial killings and collective punitive measures.
Founded five years ago, the IEDI is made up of prominent Imo indigenes and distinguished sons and daughters of the state drawn from various sectors, among whom are globally renowned entrepreneurs, professionals, seasoned members of the academia and Imolites in the Diaspora.