Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has assured the northern community in the state of the government’s determination to protect them and their property.
Also, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Hope Uzodimma on Gender and Vulnerable Persons (Men) and the Garkuwan Hausa (shield of Hausa community), Imo State, Hon Sulaiman Ibrahim Sulaiman, described as untrue reports that Hausas are leaving Imo.
He described Imo State as the safest place for them to live.
The Governor, who also debunked the rumour that the northern community in Imo are leaving in droves, said that they had no need to leave, adding that they are part and parcel of Imo State.
“This is where you live. This is where you do your business. You are stakeholders in Imo State.
“Nobody will drive you away,” Governor Uzodimma told the leadership of the northern community who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Owerri.
The leadership of the northern community said they had come to pay a solidarity visit to Governor Uzodimma and to solicit his continued support to them in the face of recent pockets of insecurity affecting them.
‘Equal treatment for all’
Governor Uzodimma, who told the northerners that they are taxpayers in Imo State, admonished them not to be “tenants in your house,” adding, “once you are here doing your business you are from Imo State.”
The governor told them that “every protection or support I can give to the Igbo man from Imo State, I will also give to a northerner who is in Imo State.”
Uzodimma reminded them again that they voted for him overwhelmingly and that government has a programme for them that will help them live well and conduct their businesses properly.
He told them that the government had taken note of the development in their habitation and assured them that it will not happen again.
“This government has no time for nonsense.
“Don’t go for self-help. The government will help you.
“No arrangement by any person or group will be stronger than that of government.
“All we need from you is information. Pray for the souls of those who lost their lives,” the Governor informed the group.
‘Those after you are after me too’
The governor alleged that those behind the attacks know that the northern community in Imo State is supporting him, adding that it was the reason they were being targeted.
He quipped: “Those who are after you are after me and God will not allow them to succeed.”
Uzodimma, therefore, promised to enhance the security in all the places they reside in Imo State.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Alhaji Adamu Baba Sule, told the Governor that they came to give both moral support and pledge their solidarity.
He said regardless of the recent development, “Imo State remains the most peaceful and most accommodating to the northerners in the South East.”
He regretted that “bad political leaders in Imo State conspired with others elsewhere to cause problems for the people,” and pleaded with Governor Uzodimma to beef up security at their places of abode.