Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has condemned the recent attacks launched by unknown gunmen on citizens of the state.
SaharaReporters had reported how gunmen on Thursday, set on fire the secretariat of Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
It was learnt that several buildings, including administrative blocks and parked vehicles, were among the facilities torched.
Reacting, Soludo said the criminals who perpetrated the act were not from Anambra but from neighbouring South-East states according to information from those arrested.
He said the act was carried out by those who had been sacked from their operational camp by joint operations of Nigerian Security forces.
According to him, military operations around the borders of Aguluezechukwu and Ogborji communities in the council led to the dislodging of the arsonists who had operated for about two years.
He said information from those arrested revealed that they were not from Anambra.
According to Soludo, combined forces got to a criminal camp between Agulezechukwu and Ogborji, and from there, they had operated unhindered for over two years.
”They attacked, kidnapped, maimed and burnt in so many places. They were smoked out, the camp destroyed and as they were fleeing cowardly, they decided to set the Local Government Secretariat ablaze but thank God the police came on time and smoked them out.
“From the statistics so far, 85 per cent of people arrested come from one of the states in the South-East and the remaining 15 per cent from another state in the South-East.
”It is really our people doing this to themselves. From the items recovered from them, they are common criminals, there is a register of those kidnapped, how much they paid, balance remaining, date of kidnap and how, shrines, arms and food items,” he said.
He, however, urged agitators to embrace the olive branch extended to them by coming out of the forests and dropping their guns for rehabilitation.
He warned that anybody in the bush with guns would be regarded as a criminal and treated as one.
“We have offered an olive branch to all those who are in the bush to come out, surrender your guns and we will help to rehabilitate them to play critical roles in the development of Nigeria.
“Those who refuse to take that option and decide to continue their nefarious activities in the bushes around, we assure that they cannot cow us.
“This too shall come to pass, peace must return to Anambra and the South-East; anybody in the bush with a gun is a criminal and will be treated as such. There is no hiding place in Anambra, if you want to be in the bush to carry out criminality, you better find space elsewhere, Anambra is determined to take back their land.
“If you fail to take the police branch, we will come after you, no amount of warning will cow, the people’s power must triumph, we are resolved to stamp out criminals in Anambra, we are irrepressible,” he said.