The era of youths restiveness and vandalizing of crude oil facilities in Imo State may have come to an end as the restive youths in the oil region numbering over 5,000 denounced youth restiveness/cultism and surrendered their arms to Imo State Government yesterday at the Government House, Owerri. The repentant youths who came out in their numbers told the governor they have concurred to his goodwill and assured him that careless killings due to displacement of their resources thereby making their place insecure and uninhabitable must stop. The leaders of the various cult groups in turns, reiterated the issue of incessant killings and vandalizing of oil facilities in the oil region was as a result of negligence from the Oil Companies. According to one of the group head popularly known as Banga, “we want the government to look into our community. Let the government look into our issues, let us benefit from what belongs to us. We have no light, no hospital, no road… let the government empower us and I assure you all from today, no more killing”.
Responding, Governor Okorocha commended them for their bold step towards ending the youth restiveness in the region. In his words, “we know our sons and daughters are not violent, situations led to it”, and assured them all their requests will be granted to them and granted them State pardon in the presence of the State Commissioner of Police, the Brigade Commander of 34 Artillery Brigade, DSS, NSCDC.
Speaking while fielding questions from journalists at the event, the Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) to the governor, Engineer Kingsley Uju said the militants have embraced peace and have received executive pardon by the state government. He said the move will pave way the re-integration of the militants into the society adding that the decision of the governor to grant them pardon is in line with the amnesty programme of the federal government.
Speaking further, Engr. Uju said that there are a total of eight oil companies operating in Imo and now that peace has finally returned to Ohaji Egbema and Oguta, the companies would begin to enjoy good relations with their host communities.
A large number of arms and ammunition including, AK 47, Pump Action rifles, grenades, short and long local made guns and charms were received by the State Governor Owelle Rocha’s Anayo Okorocha, in conjunction with the Commissioner of Police, CP Taiwo Lakanu and the Brigade Commander of 34 Field Artillery Brigade, Obinze – Owerri.