Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has placed 10 Local Government Areas of Imo State are under dusk to dawn lockdown to avoid further breakdown of law and order following gun battle between the joint operatives of the Nigerian Army and Police and members of Eastern Security Network (ESN) set up by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The gun battle left dead bodies lying on the streets of Orlu, headquarters of Orlu Local Government Area of the State.
The curfew affects Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideato South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwere Local Government of the State, all in the Orly Senatorial zone.
Governor Hope Uzodinma and Rochas Okorocha are from the zone.
Governor Uzodinma, in giving the matching order on security agencies to immediately arrest those behind the incident and bring them to book, said in a statement by his Spokesperson, Mr Oguike Nwachukwu, warned that anybody caught within the period of curfew would be treated as suspect to the crisis.
According to the statement: “I received a very disturbing news about a clash between security agencies and some militants who unleashed shooting in Orlu LGA.
“I am totally sad over this incident which nearly painted a picture of near breakdown of law in the State and I am condemning this act of holiganism and those behind this will regret their actions.
“As an interim measure to check the crises, I have directed a dusk to dawn curfew in 10 LGAs in Orlu zone between 6pm and 6am daily till further notice.”
The gun battle between military and Police personnel and the IPOB security network volunteers was concentrated in the popular timber market known as Ogbo Osisi Market. The market was set on fire during the fighting which lasted for several hours.
Police Spokesperson, Orlando Ikeokwu, who confirmed the incident, said Police had moved into action to restore peace and immediately arrest those behind the incident.
Residents of the Ogbo Osisi Market area reported that soldiers and Police officers arrived the area and started shooting sporadically, forcing people to scamper for their lives.
The security operatives, it was gathered, claimed that ESN surrounded the area.
However, not long after the arrival of the police and soldiers, ESN operatives also landed, leading to a gun battle between the Police and Army on one side, the ESN on the other side.
While the Police said that only one person died, videos taken just after the gun battle shows bodies lying around the area.