Following what looked like a pitched battle between soldiers and the police on one side and members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) on the order,
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in 10 local government areas in the state. This is intended to checkmate further breakdown of law in Orlu and other affected areas.
It has been reported how a reprisal military operation was launched in Orlu on Monday, as a result of a clash between the army and some youth believed to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN). The number of deaths and the extent of damage from the crisis is unknown, for now.
The local government areas affected by the curfew are Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North and Ideato South. Others are Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwere.
The curfew would hold between 6a.m. and 6p.m. daily till further notice, the governor said in Owerri on Monday.
A popular timber market known as Ogbosisi Market was set on fire during the crisis which lasted for several hours. Apart from that, about eight churches were also torched.
Governor Uzodinma, in a statement from his spokesperson, Oguike Nwachukwu, said the curfew would check further breakdown of laws in the area.
The governor ordered security agencies to arrest those behind the incident and bring them to book.
He said: “This afternoon, I received a very disturbing news about a clash between security agencies and some militants who unleashed shooting in Orlu.
“I am totally sad over this incident which painted a picture of near breakdown of law and order in the state and I am condemning this act of hooliganism, and those behind this will regret their actions.”
The governor warned that anybody caught within the period of curfew would be treated as a suspect.