Xenophobia: Ihedioha Moves to Resettle Returnees from South Africa

  • Charges security agencies to flush out criminals•

As part of the state government’s plan to reintegrate and resettle Imo indigenes who recently returned from South Africa, as a result of the latest xenophobic attacks, the State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has set up an inter-ministerial committee to map out strategies for their resettlement.

Speaking during the reception of the returnees at the Government House, Owerri, Wednesday, Governor Ihedioha, thanked God for saving their lives despite the casualties recorded during the attack.

He reminded them that this is a period for soul searching, saying, “We understand clearly the import of this incident. What the displacement has given rise to, is that you have to start afresh, begin to adjust either to start a new life or otherwise”.

In a statement by Chibuike Onyeukwu, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ihedioha noted that a desk has been set up to articulate an implementable plan that will guarantee sustainable livelihood for them.

He disclosed that the Inter-Ministerial Committee which will be headed by his Special Adviser on Diaspora Affairs, Prof, Chudi Uwazuruike shall comprise of the Ministries of Youths; Labour; Education; Health to be supervised by the Ministry of Gender and Vulnerable Group Affairs, will work out basically how to help them resettle.

The Governor noted that the state is doing its best to link up with the Federal Government to ensure that special attention is given to Imo returnees, as the state has fulfilled all the requirements needed by the Diaspora Commission.

While thanking the management of Air Peace for their patriotic act of bringing home Nigerians at no cost, he commended the Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna for providing succour which has greatly strengthened the returnees since they arrived the state.

Appreciating the Governor, on behalf of the returnees, Mr. Uche Edih thanked the Governor for his prompt response and fatherly concern, promising that they will put into good use, any assistance offered by the state to them.

Highlight of the event was the distribution of food items and stipend to the returnees.

Meanwhile, Governor Ihedioha has that the state will no longer be habitable for criminal elements as he charged security agencies in the State to flush out criminals across the State.

The Governor gave the charge at an Expanded State Security Council meeting with Heads of various security agencies in the State such as Deputy Commissioners of Police, Unit Commanders, Area Commanders, DPOs and their equivalents across the security agencies in the State

Ihedioha, who urged them to be proactive and put in place measures to contain the situation, harped on the importance for the progress to be made in providing adequate security for citizens of the State. “There is no gain-saying that we cannot make progress in government without security.”

“We as the elected, derive our mandate from the people who expect us to defend them. We want to plead with you to step up your responsibilities. We are not oblivious of the fact that you all take risks but you have to fish out the bad elements so that they can stop contaminating us”, he said.

“The potentials of greatness are huge in Imo State. Some people want to run down the State but we will never let them. On my part, I will remain honest with the people, as we want to use our funds to govern our state and life better for the citizens who have groaned over the past years.

“The truth is that we need resources to tackle our problems and therefore we are working very hard, day and night for our State to look good again. We have a burden and we are determined to close the gap.

Ihedioha made it clear that he has a duty to work for the people of the State who elected him into office, adding that, “The people voted for us in expectation of a positive turnaround and as such I have a mandate to provide for them roads, water and power supply. We have significantly improved our revenue generation by over 300% within the short period

He said there is enormous burden on his administration to live up to expectations, which needs the support of all, and sundry to overcome.

We are paying for the misdeeds, carelessness and mindless character of the past administration and we can only solve these problems ourselves.

He charged the security agencies to place priority on protecting the innocent in the State, reminding them of their responsibility to make the State safe.

“We cannot succeed in combating crime without the security agencies. What should be of concern to you are the innocent men and women who could be victims of these criminals. Let us collectively flush out the criminals in Imo State. When you punish offenders, it will serve as deterrent to others” he stated.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Security matters, Mr. Raymond Nkemdirim, who spoke after the meeting, said it provided an opportunity for the Governor and Heads of the security agencies to find lasting solutions to the increasing rate of crime in the state capital, especially at Douglas Road and other flashpoints.

A 16 point communiqué was issued at the end of the meeting which focused on proactive and effective measures to combat crime in the State.

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