Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, on Thursday, met with leaders of the Hausa community in the South-East zone over the alleged killing of Fulani herdsmen by criminals.
At a meeting which took place at the Government House, Owerri, with the family members of the dead Fulani men allegedly found in shallow well in Abia State, in attendance he appealed for calm and peaceful. He informed them that two of those who master-minded the killings had been arrested, assuring that they would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Okorocha said, “Those who carried out the killings did not target the Fulani only. They also killed two Igbo men whose corpses were also exhumed with the bodies of the Fulani. Criminals carried out the killings. And those arrested will be treated as criminals.”
He stated that, “you should not see the incident as a targeted attack on the Fulani, because evidence from the exhumed bodies indicated that two Igbo men were among the exhumed bodies. Two of the culprits have been apprehended and will be made to face the consequences of their action. There will be no hiding place for the rest of the hoodlums.”
Okorocha praised the Hausa community for not taking retaliatory actions, urging them to join hands with the government in fighting the criminals to a standstill. He told the Hausa community that their safety was of paramount importance to the governors in the South-East zone.
Okorocha said that, “I commiserate with all of you over the recent murder of five Fulani herdsmen within the Imo/Abia border. Few days ago, I was in Abia State to meet with the governor, who is my brother, and we have agreed to put resources together to ensure that such ugly incident does not happen again. We have decided to check the activities of criminals in the border areas.”
He further said that although he was an Igbo man, he was born and brought up in the North and empowered by the West and could not, therefore, afford to be a tribalised Nigerian, reiterating that every Nigerian could do business in any part of the country.
The Brigade Commander 34 FAB Obinze, Owerri, Brigadier-General Kay Isiyaku who came with the leaders of the Hausa community, commended Okorocha for the steps he had taken to ensure that the ugly development did not escalate and urged him to sustain the tempo.
The leader of the Hausa community in the South East zone, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, also commended the governor for his peace initiatives.
He said that the actions of the governor since the incident happened had assisted a lot, adding that were it not for the governor’s early intervention the problem would have escalated.