The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, has defended his decision to seek the assistance of the military in Orlu senatorial district where there have been growing security challenges.
There has been heavy military presence in Orlu, following the crisis which was linked to members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) set up by the Indigenous People of Biafra in the community.
The governor said he requested military support from President Muhammadu Buhari after realising that IPOB had serious firing power.
Uzodinma, who was addressing State House correspondents on Tuesday, also said no one died during the security operation.
An earlier clash between the ESN and some security personnel had reportedly resulted in deaths and the destruction of properties.
But speaking after a meeting with Buhari in Abuja, Uzodinma said he alerted the president after seeing a growing pattern of killings and security incidents in Orlu that involved ESN militants.
“We discovered that the people had serious firing power, so there was a need for me to report the situation, and that I did and we were supported to deal with the situation.
“I came here, pleaded with Mr president for his support, and he sent additional support by sending in the police, and the military also came in. And that is where we are.
“It was at my invitation that the military came. And I did that because I knew the situation was beyond the local arrangement; we needed help. And the help was given to us.
“As I speak to you, the situation has come down to normal. People are now going about their business, and those caught will soon be charged to court, ” he said.
The governor further said he would not shy away from his responsibility to protect the lives of citizens of the state, adding that the operation is not about crushing anybody.
He said, “Those that came through their intelligence identify where these people (IPOB militants) were, and I can tell you, all the people arrested, all the rifles recovered are intact, the people are under interrogation. Not even one soldier, or one of those militants died in the process.”
SaharaReporters, New York