In less than a week after Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State had charged security agencies to rid the state of criminal elements, the various security agencies in the state has swung to action.
Speaking to newsmen in Owerri on Saturday, the Special Adviser to the governor on security, Ray Nkemdilim said the state government has deployed the Operation Iron Gate comprising over 150 security personnel to Douglas road and its environs in efforts to put an end to the security menace in the area.
Nkemdilim, who spoke through Chief Azubuike Nwoke, Special Assistant to the governor on security (Owerri Zone), said that the ‘show of force’ was to restore people’s confidence to the government and to reassure them of the adequate protection of their lives and properties in the state.
He said, “today, we have activated the Operation Iron Gate to curb the recent incessant security menace in Owerri municipal. In this operation, we have over 150 security personnel spread all over Douglas road, Teclow road, Mbaise road and across Owerri Municipal. We are confident that with this show of force, normalcy will be returned in Owerri.
“You are aware that in very recent time, our team have recorded huge success by arresting some hoodlums that have been terrorizing the state. And even today, we succeded in catching two armed robbers.”
He continued, “I must give kudos to the police, they are doing great job. And i can assure you that the Operation Iron Gate is very effective. We have the presence of the Army, the Police, Civil Defense and DSS. They are all here in their numbers, ensuring that things work out well.
“I want to use this opportunity to advise the traders and residents around this area and the entire Imolites that they should be confident and trust the government on their security. There should be no further course for panic.
“The operation Iron Gate in corroboration with other security agencies have commenced effective work and they will definitely arrest the situation.”
Also, Comr. Kennedy Ezeogu, Special Assistant to the governor (Orlu Zone) in his remark applauded the ingenuity of the state governor for rising to the occasion.
He said, “you can see that from what His Excellency has done, citizens of Imo State can now sleep well especially here in Douglas. And the criminal elements in the state have no other option than to leave the state.”
Some of the traders and residents in Douglas Road, who spoke to newsmen including Ndukwu Glory and Justice Dike expressed satisfaction with the commitment of the state government to guarantee their security. They however prayed that the effort would be sustained.
Meanwhile, the police have disclosed the identities of the two arrested armed robbers to be one, Chimaobi Uzoma (20) and Esomibe Anayo (21) of Mgbala Agwa and Obidi Agwa in Oguta Council Area of the state respectively.
The arrest came barely two days, the police had also arrested three notorious armed robbers among whom was Chukwuka Esoga, aka ‘Kaka’ (21) of No. 93 Uche Street by Roice Road, Owerri, that have terrorized traders and residents at the same Douglas road and its environs.