As a result of the recurrent cult clashes in the area, the Imo State Government has warned that it may cancel the amnesty granted some alleged criminals in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of the state by the immediate past administration of Governor Rochas Okorocha.
While addressing a delegation from the area on Friday in his office in Owerri, Deputy Governor of the State, Gerald Irona, noted that the criminals ought to have surrendered their guns and repented.
A statement by his Adviser on Communications, Walter Duru, quoted the Deputy Gov. as saying that cult-related clashes in the area were unacceptable. He also warned that the present administration will not tolerate criminality in whatever guise.
He said: “Protection of lives and property is a primary business of Government. If they are still involved in cultism and terrorizing innocent citizens with arms, after accepting amnesty, the government will not fold its arms to watch them harass law abiding citizens.
“If this continues, we may have to cancel the amnesty granted them by the last administration.
“We shall take urgent steps to restore law and order in the area and every part of Imo State. We shall not patronize criminals in anyway.
“We shall encourage them turn a new leaf, but in an event that they refuse to change, Government will take necessary steps to ensure law and order in the state.”
Earlier in his speech, leader of the delegation and Chairman, Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), Barr. Magnus Obido, lamented the lingering violence in the area, calling on the state government to come to their aid.
“We are here to seek your intervention in the unending cult-related violence in our area. As we speak, everybody in our area has run away, following renewed violence in our place. We are handicapped and that is why we are here”, he said.
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