Youth from the 27 Local Government Area of Imo State on Friday marched in Owerri, the state capital to call for an end to insecurity in the state
The youths said that the killings, kidnapping, banditry and all forms of insecurity affecting the state were against the dreams of the founding fathers of the state.
The youth, under the aegis of the Imo Youths Peace Movement, called on politicians in the state to de-escalate tension in the state by playing politics with principles.
Chairman and founder of the Group, Chidubem Martins Ogbenna, said they had also carried out the same march in Orlu and Okigwe zones of the state.
The youths who marched from control post roundabout to government house roundabout down to Wetheral, Douglas Road, MCC Road, Bank Road, Okigwe Road, World bank Road, Orlu Road and Teltlow Road, said that the economy of the state was shrinking.
Ogbenna said the essence of the rally was to sensitize the people of the state that there was no alternative to peace.
The peace advocate said, “this is the grand finale of this rally. We had in the past two days carried out this same rally in the Orlu zone and also in the Okigwe zone of the state. This is a serious campaign. We are fed up with the level of insecurity in Imo State. The kidnapping, armed robberies, killing of policemen, bombing of security formations and all forms of banditry in this state are unacceptable.
“We have no place to call our state except Imo. We are not politically partisan. We are self-funded. We are only interested in the security and well being of the state. We have written to the governor of Imo state, inform ing him that we are committed to the peace and well being of the state and the people of Imo state. We have also visited the commissioner for information and strategy and his counterpart in the ministry of justice.
“We want every stakeholder to be genuinely committed to the peace and prosperity of the state. Imo has suffered a lot in the last two years. We are reaching out to the traditional rulers and the clergy. We are not limiting our consultations. This march is to inform everybody including the hawkers that we should all work together to restore peace in Imo state.”
The publicity secretary of the group, Gideon Chinagorom, said they were seriously engaging youths in the hinterlands in their efforts to restore peace in the state.
“We are not limiting our consultations. We also know that a lazy mind is the devil’s workshop. That is why we are rehabilitating those who are victims of drug abuses like mkpurumiri. We are trying our best to reintegrate them into society.
“This is not the Owerri we used to have. We also know that Owerri used to be the center of the hospitality and tourism industry in the South East and the South-South zones. Every weekend people used to troop into Owerri from Port Harcourt, Aba, Umuahia, Awka, Onitsha, Uyo, Asaba. But people no longer come because of insecurity. We want Owerri to start bobbling the way it used to be. That is why we are asking everybody to join hands with us in ending insecurity in the state.”
The Provost of the group, Johnson Eric said “this is a major campaign for us. We have no sponsors. We are concerned citizens of Imo State who are embittered about the level of insecurity in the state. We are losing a lot. Our youths are dying, companies are folding, people are afraid to come to do business in Owerri. Our security formations are being destroyed. This is why we are calling on everybody to be genuinely concerned about the restoration of peace and security in Imo state.”