Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has reacted to reports that northerners are leaving the Southeast state over insecurity.
According to BBC Hausa, the recent killings and attackers in Imostate has forced many northerners to return to the North.
Alhaji Iliyasu Sulaiman told BBC Hausa that his younger brother was shot dead and that three other northerners were injured in Olu town.
He said the killings by unknown gunmen had forced over 100 people to return to their states of origins within the last two weeks.
“So far, I know about 60 people that went back to Sokoto, more than 20 others also from Kano and Katsina have gone back and some are preparing to go too,” he said.
Speaking to newsmen, Uzodinma’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Gender Vulnerable Groups Northern Affairs, Sulaiman Ibrahim Sulaiman, dismissed the report.
The Imo governor’s aide said the reports as completely false, adding that the rumour was a calculated attempt to cause panic in the state.
He said that northerners in Imo are at peace with their host communities irrespective of security challenges facing the state, adding that “there is no plan for any Northerner to leave Imo State now.”
Sulaiman said: “The state government is committed towards ensuring the protection of lives and properties of the citizenry especially the northerners in the state.”
He described Northerners in the state as law abiding people, adding they would do everything humanly possible to support government and promote peace in the state.
“I call on all Hausa community and the people of the state to disregard the information which lacks basic truth and is targeted at causing disaffection between Hausa and their hosts,” he said.