Uzodimma slams curfew on Orlu after soldiers, militants clash

Residents of Orlu Local Government Area of on Monday fled their homes following a sporadic shooting by soldiers and suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of (IPOB) and its outfit, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

At least 10 people were feared dead, according to sources.

Reports said the number of casualties could be more.

A showed bodies lying on the streets or Orlu, including that of a woman, said to have been hit by a stray bullet.

Vehicles conveying armed soldiers were also seen. A clip showed soldiers lying on the ground and appearing to take aim.

Governor Hope Uzodimma declared a dusk to dawn in nine of the affected council areas.

It was gathered many houses and shops were burnt in reprisal by soldiers following the alleged killing of one of them.

Last Friday, a policeman was also allegedly killed at Okporo, Orlu by some security operatives believed to be ESN members.

Scores were wounded in the ensuing confusion.

Uzodimma, in a statement by his spokesman Oguwike Nwachuku, said the followed disturbing report on the activities of a group of militants that unleashed mayhem on residents of Orlu.

He urged to fish out the perpetrators without fail.

The governor said the was an interim measure to immediately restore the peace in the area.

It will begin at 6pm and end at 6 am daily and affects Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideato South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwerre local government areas of Orlu zone.

Addressing a news conference, Uzodimma said the perpetrators of the carnage were out to paint a picture of near break down of law and order in Orlu area.

The governor advised the residents of the affected LGAs to comply with the curfew as anyone who violates it will be treated as a suspect.

Uzodimma said have been directed to carry out a 24-hour patrol, adding that law-abiding citizens can go about their businesses without fear of molestation.

The governor condoled with the families of the bereaved and assured them that those who committed the heinous crime against them and their loves ones will not go unpunished.

The governor said: “This afternoon, I received a very disturbing report on the activities of a group of militants who unleashed a shooting spree in the Orlu area of the state, killing and maiming innocent citizen in the process.

“I am totally appalled by this sad report which appears to paint a picture of near breakdown of law and order in the Orlu area.

“The government condemns in its entirety this act of extreme hooliganism and brigandage.

“This is completely unacceptable to this administration. Those behind this callous barbarism will surely regret their actions.

“Consequently, I have directed the to fish out without fail, all those behind the carnage and immediately bring them to book.

“Let no one be in any doubt that the perpetrators of this dastardly act will ever escape justice. I assure them that they will pay for their cruelty against a peace-loving, innocent people.”

The governor assured that the situation in Orlu area is under control.

“Every security measure necessary has been put in place to ensure that law-abiding citizens can go about their businesses in the affected areas without any fear of molestation.

“The government sincerely condoles with the families of the bereaved and all the victims of the unfortunate incident.

“I assure them that those who committed the heinous crime against them and their loved ones will never go unfurnished,” the governor said.

A former minister of aviation Chief Femi Fani-Kayode tweeted: “The clash between soldiers and members ESN in Orlu, has resulted in some deaths & this is unfortunate.

“I call for restraint on both sides. The soldiers ought to be deployed against killer herdsmen and not ESN. When will Buhari learn?”

Another former minister, Oby Ezekwesili, said: “Can the @HQNigerianArmy and @DefenceInfoNG please communicate what’s going on here in Orlu Town to the public?

“It certainly has the appearance of a war scene. Is an entire town under combat operation from our Military?

“Can the C-in-C let Nigerians know who ordered this operation?”

Efforts to get the reaction of the on the crisis in Orlu were unsuccessful.

Director of Army , Brigadier General Sagir Musa, did not pick his calls or respond to text messages sent to his phone.

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