Fifty persons have been arrested in connection with the recent attack on Owerri correctional centre and the police command in Imo state, south-east Nigeria.
The state governor, Hope Uzodinma, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Friday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The governor said he had requested from the president an improvement in manpower and logistics for the security agencies in the state.
He said, “As at the last count, we arrested almost 40 to 50 people, who also made useful statements and confessed to the crime.
“I continue to tell you that this issue of banditry is something that we must all rise up to condemn and then support security agencies to be able to provide an enabling environment for people to go about their businesses without fear of any molestation.”
He also spoke on the constant calls for secession by agitators in the region over alleged marginalisaiton.
“Well, I don’t know the meaning of crisis, is it the call for secession? I don’t think that I will support any call for secession. I want a united, strong Nigeria. Our strength is in our diversity and today, we are supposed to play a leading role in this continent.
“We don’t want to whittle down our strength. Rather, what I advise is that we must appreciate the gift of nature in our land and support government.
“Listen, let me tell you something, this country is blessed by God. From 2015 till today, I thought what the problem would be people saying that there’s no job creation, people are not feeding, salaries are not paid, infrastructure is going down, social interventions are not approved by government.
“These things are there, available, a passmark for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Now, people are no longer talking about that, rather what they are doing is to sponsor crisis, to the extent that those funding this banditry are politicians, which I challenge and call on security agencies to make their names available to the press because what they want to do is to distract a government that is focused.
“If this government is not doing well, I’ll be one of those that will declare the government as not doing well, but a situation where you’ll live the formal way, ethical way of doing politics, and you are now sponsoring banditry to bring down a government. For Christ’s sake, we should rise up and condemn it, all of us,” he said.