–       Bemoan heavy Army, Police presence, harassment of innocent citizens

As the Lockdown across the states of the federation bites harder and is being extended by Governors of various states, mainly the Coronavirus prone states, a cross section of Imo people have asked to know if there is a dusk to dawn curfew in Imo considering the kind of stringent policies of the government under Senator Hope Uzodinma, which has taken the measures to very unbearable extent.

One of those who spoke to our roaming reporter yesterday, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, is the secretary of Retired Permanent Secretary of Imo State, Chief F.I Agba.

Narrating his ordeal in the hands of tough looking policemen in Owerri, Chief F.I Agba wondered how the people of the state especially those locked down in the state capital of Owerri will survive, if the Governor orders total lockdown which even prevents people from buying essential items. 

He queried if there is an announced dusk to dawn curfew in Imo to warrant such harassment aside measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus pandemic. He queried, “why should police prevent me from going about in my private car when I am not carrying anybody or conveying any goods? Our people are suffering. I urge the Governor to relax his policy on Covid-19, because it is serving no use since the people are already dying of hunger and poverty”.

Speaking further, Agba recalled that other states that have recorded index cases are not even imposing total lockdown on their people as obtains Imo, which as reported, has not recorded any index case since the outbreak of the dreaded disease in China late last year.

On the issue of pension, he acknowledged that government of Imo state has approved payment of their pension but wondered how even the pensioners will access such money without going to the bank since the lockdown has shutdown banking activities except for ATM, which many of the frail pensioners are incapable of subscribing to. He regretted that the timing is wrong especially with reports that most pensioners have died of hunger already.

Similarly, the former spokesperson of Imo PDP, Barr Kissinger Ikeokwu, in his advice to the Governor said, “when the Governor declared sit at home, everyone saw reason. We complied because it was necessary.

All the measures announced by Governor Uzodinma including but not restricted to closure of school, ban on celebrations and events, suspension of all social gatherings, bars and joints etc were all timely and helped so much.

However the situation today calls for review. There is no reason why Imo people should not be allowed to move freely for basic necessities while schools, churches, shops, markets, except food vendors, courts remain locked.

Save Ndi Imo from this curfew that security agencies are imposing on Imo or Owerri residents. We are not Lagos and Abuja where new cases have been consistently recorded for over two weeks now”.  

Many in Imo State view the highhandedness of government as vendetta and vindictive directed against the electorate for obvious reasons. They recalled that even in his first and second broadcasts, President Muhammadu Buhari never included Imo State among states to be lockdown and wondered why government is visiting the people with hardship