Insecurity: Imo Govt launches Operation Search & Flush
By Our Reporter
As a combative measure to tackle the growing insecurity in Imo, the State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has officially inaugurated a security outfit code-named Operation Search and Flush (OSF).
Recall that Imo, just like Ebonyi and other South East States have come under attacks by unknown gunmen which has claimed many lives of particularly officers and security operatives in the region including loss of properties worth millions of naira.
The launching of the outfit, coming just after a few days his Ebonyi counterpart launched the Ebube-Agu regional security outfit in his State comprises of officers drawn from the various security agencies in the State.
But the Governor in his remark said he will in a few days, he shall be integrating the Imo State Vigilante outfit, otherwise known as Ebube-agu to complement the efforts of Operation Search and Flush, in fighting crime in the state.
Said he, “Today’s event heralds the presentation of more vehicles and security gadgets to our Operation Search and Flush team. It is a bold statement on our iron-clad resolve to flush out criminals from our dear state. It is a signal to bandits, hoodlums and trigger-happy criminals that their time is up in Imo State.
Again this event further underscores the fact that our government can never be intimidated by criminals and their sponsors. It also reaffirms our commitment to the protection of lives and property of all citizens of the state including those on transit”.
Continuing, Governor Uzodinma posited, “You will recall that just a few days after I assumed office as the governor of Imo State, I inaugurated the security outfit known as Operation Search and Flush,(OSF), which brought together all the different security agencies to work as a team to fight every form of criminality. The objective then and now is to rout and root out every aspect of crime in our state. I empowered the outfit then with a record of 100 patrol vehicles and sophisticated communication equipment to help them achieve the objective. There is no doubt that that intervention yielded positive results, the recent pockets of crime here and there notwithstanding.”
The Governor also commended the heads of security agencies in Imo State and their men for their supportive roles in keeping Imo State and her citizenry safe. “No matter what might have happened recently, the gallantry and sacrifices of these patriotic officers have never been in doubt. May I use this opportunity to commiserate with families of the officers who paid the supreme price in the course of executing their lawful duties. My administration will always do the needful to cushion the pains of these losses.”
While condoling with the families of those who lost their loved ones, the Governor further promised that his government shall do all that we can to ameliorate the pains of families who lost their loved ones in the course of accidental engagements with security agencies.
“My beloved people of Imo State, in a way we can say that today’s event is part of our response to the evolving security challenges in the state. We are reinforcing what we started last year. We are re-energizing the security architecture in the state to make it more proactive and result-oriented. These vehicles and equipment being donated by my administration are eloquent testimony to our resolve to confront and combat criminality headlong”, he reiterated.
Continuing, he said, “Let me, therefore, use the auspicious occasion of this memorable event to declare a total war against crime, criminality and their sponsors in the state. In this regard, I am today declaring a zero-tolerance for crime in Imo State. From now onwards Imo State shall be a no go area for criminals. We shall take the war to the doorway of all criminals; their kindred, their hamlets and their hideout. We shall smoke them out and flush them out of Imo State.
Consequently, I hereby charge our security agencies to chase the criminals to their hideouts. All smoking joints where marijuana and other dangerous drugs are sold and used should be searched and flushed out. Henceforth, any landlord who avails his property to criminals, even smokers of weeds would be answerable to the law. In like manner, any traditional ruler in whose domain criminals abides and who fails to report same to relevant authorities will be held accountable,” he said, adding, “We can no longer tolerate a situation whereby our state is used as a breeding haven for criminals.”
The Governor therefore urged Imo State and residents to go about their lawful engagements without any fear of molestation as he declared that their safety is guaranteed.
“On that note, it is my pleasure to present these vehicles and equipment to the Operation Search and Flush outfit to further reinforce their operational capacity in the onerous task of protecting lives and property in Imo State”, he concluded.