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Military invasions linked to dwindling Imo business environment


ASABA  – There are indications that business activities in Imo State are under threat following several military invasions in search of members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). 

Orlu, being the major business hub in the state in terms of trade, manufacturing, sale of drugs, timber and other types of building materials has been invaded twice and casualties both on innocent civilians, Pro-Biafra groups and the military were recorded. 

In the case of first Orlu invasion which took place early February 2021, the Governor Hope Uzodimma admitted that he invited the military in Imo West Senatorial zone (Orlu). 

There was public outcry trailing the use of military helicopter to fish out the IPOB (ESN) members in parts of Imo West senatorial zone, just as more military personnel were moved into forests and bushes in the troubled region to dislodge men of the Freedom Fighting Organisation (IPOB ESN). 

Indigenes of Orsu Ihitteukwa and Awo Idemili in the Orsu council area on reportedly relocated their families to neighbouring communities in Anambra state. 

The sudden military presence infused fears and anxiety among the people who in real live situation witnessed destruction of businesses and properties belonging to them. 

The combined team of soldiers and policemen in Orlu, Nkwerre, Ideato North and South led to the closure of most business premises by their owners for fear of being affected by stray bullets. 

In Owerri, Ubomiri, Akwakuma, Amakohia, roads leading to Rochas Foundation Collage Of Africa, Umuodu Mbieri, Ama wire Orji, Government house, Njamanze Street, Douglas road, Ama Awusa, Mbaise road, Control post junction, Egbu road, Warehouse junction, Bank road, school road, Ama JK and more have been declared no go areas since the military occupation in the last one week. 

Nigerians resident in Owerri are made to vacate their business premises at 5:00pm daily for fear of being arrested by the military and other security operatives in the area. 

The alleged military intimidation, sporadic shooting, indiscriminate arrests and other forms of abuse of power in Owerri have left the city with casualties of innocent Nigerians and disorganised business plans of the people of the state. 

Though the Secretary of Imo State Industrial Estate located along Owerri-Onitsha road Engr Nwabueze Akobundu could not be reached despite efforts made, reports had it that for fear of indiscriminate military attacks in Owerri, most industrialists were unable to access their factories. 

Meanwhile, Senator Hope Uzodimma, the state Governor recently urged the Federal Government to commence speedy investigations on what led to the nationwide attacks on the nation’s security and private facilities. 

Governor Uzodimma said the public is desirous of knowing the truth about those behind the mayhem visited on government property across the country as well as the sponsors of the security breaches

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