- Warns IPOB, others against protests, falsehood
- Dusk to dawn curfew imposed on Jos
- No cause for alarm, says IGP
By Ese Awhotu, Lawrence Olaoye Abuja and Ado Musa Jos
Abia state Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has said that following several interventions, there will be withdrawal of solders from the streets at Aba and Umuahia, today, apart from the pre-existing military checkpoints at various location in the state.
He, however, warned that, “ With the expected exit of soldiers from the streets, we must warn that we will not tolerate agitators and protesters taking over the streets for any reason at all.”
Ipeazu in a statement yesterday, also said he would be meeting President Mohamaudu Buhari, to discuss possible ways of relaxing the Operation Python dance 11 in the state for now.
“Our attention have been drawn to ugly incidences of attacks on police stations and military posts at Aba and Umuahia and we hereby warn that we will no longer tolerate that, and all other acts that are capable of causing insecurity in the state, “ he said.
The governor also warned members and sympathizers of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to henceforth desist from spreading false rumors capable of throwing Abia state into disorder.
“Those spreading such falsehood will be dealt with, according to the law,” he said.
He noted that, “ it is in the interest of all our citizens and residents for full and total peace and security to return to our state immediately. No meaningful progress can be made in an atmosphere of violence and anarchy.”
Ipeazu appealed to those at Aba to fully observe the current curfew in the city and ensure that they cooperate with security agents to maintain peace and order.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has said that there was no tension in the country despite the ongoing military operation, codenamed Operation Python Dance, in the South East.
The Police boss made the declaration yesterday after a closed door meeting with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Idris, while responding to questions from newsmen, also denied the allegation by the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, that his men are involved in armed robbery and kidnapping in the state.
Asked whether he was worried by the mounting tension in the country two weeks to the nation’s 57th independence anniversary, he said “I don’t think there is tension in the country. Which country this Nigeria? No. Nigeria does not have attention. At least you are in Abuja you have gone around there is no tension.”
On strategies being adopted to monitor developments in the South East, the IGP said “Obviously one is to deploy policemen across the country. Two, we are in touch with the states government, trying to mobilize the political leadership to be able to intervene where necessary on how to lessen the tension in the south east.”
On his reaction to Governor Wike’s allegations that most of the crimes in Rivers State are committed by his men in SARs, he said “He has right to self expression. You know he is a governor.”
On whether he agreed with him, he said “Of course I have to deny that; that is nonsense. I have to deny that.”
Reminded that Wike held the picture of a policeman killed in the process of committing crime to buttress his point, Idris said “If a policeman was killed, will you say he was involved in crime? I think you are mixing two different issues. A policeman was killed in Rivers in connection with this IPOB issue. It’s different from saying the policemen are involved in crime. You cannot say someone that was attacked and killed is the one involved in crime.”
He stressed that the governor did not make sense with the allegation. “I just want you to read between the lines. If you have leaders making sweeping allegations obviously it does not make sense. I don’t want to comment on it,” he said.
Also, yesterday, the Plateau Government imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Riyom and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas following a resurgence of violence there.
Two people were allegedly killed and others injured in Jos, the Plateau state capital following a violence that erupted in the city center.
Consequent upon the break out of the incident, the Executive Governor of State, Barister Simon Bako Lalong, in a press release signed by his Director , Press and Public affairs , Samuel Emmanuel Nanle, has directed an immediate imposition of curfew within Bukur and Jos from dusk to dawn (6pm – 6am).
While condemning the incident, the governor said, “on account of the conduct of some disgruntled elements, who have decided to throw the metropolis into confusion on account of their negative reaction to the agitations of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South East.
“Consequently, the Governor has directed an immediate imposition of curfew from dusk to dawn (6pm – 6am) within the Greater Jos – Bukuru Metropolis, until further notice.”
The deployment of security personnel to all flash points within the metropolis has also been directed to ensure compliance with the
curfew order and to avert any further breach of law and order.
He appealed to all religious and community
leaders, neighbourhood vigilantes as well as all law abiding citizens to ensure nobody is allowed to take advantage of this unfortunate situation to engage in criminality.
Our correspondent who was at a scene of the violence saw a body on the ground.
Hundreds of people were reported to have blocked some roads in the city, expressing their anger to IPOP agitations. Security personnel were seen everywhere trying to restore law and other.
However, when contacted the Police Public Relation Officer, Plateau State, ASP Tyopev Terna, confirmed the chaotic situation, but said the Police was not aware of any death, as at the time of filling this report.