As security operatives commenced full enforcement of the 24-hour curfew imposed on Imo State yesterday, Governor Hope Uzodimma has warned residents to stay indoors.
The Guardian observed that banks, markets, shops, schools and business premises were closed. Movements, including motorists were restricted. All the police stations and other sister security agencies’ locations were heavily guarded.
Uzodimma also condemned the gruesome murder of some soldiers in Nwaoriebi, Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state and the burning down of some police stations in the state.
In a broadcast yesterday, he warned: “I urge all peace-loving Imo people to remain calm and be rest assured that we shall do everything necessary to protect their lives and property. By now, even doubting Thomases will agree with the wisdom in the government’s well-informed decision to impose a 24-hour curfew in all parts of the state.
“In the circumstances, the government wants to make it absolutely clear that the 24-hour curfew announced on October 20th is still very much in force. Security agencies have been charged to enforce the curfew to the letter. Curfew means that there is no movement of persons or groups either in the day or at night till further notice. This means that there should be no movement of both vehicles and human beings in every part of the state.
“I appeal and advise all law-abiding indigenes and residents to stay indoors until the curfew is called off. It is important to urge our people to comply with the curfew regime for now. “Please be warned that anyone seen outside while the curfew lasts, will be treated as one of the sponsors or perpetrators of violence in the state.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akinmoyede, has declared that his men would enforce total compliance with the order.
Akinmoyede, in a statement yesterday, advised all the residents to stay at home to avoid dire consequences.
“The Imo State Police Command wishes to inform the general public that it will embark on total enforcement of the curfew as imposed by the state government.
“The Command has observed with dismay the way what started as a peaceful demonstration has been hijacked by hoodlums who have been violent.
“These hoodlums have been causing wanton destruction to lives and property. Public institutions, policemen and other security agents are being attacked and police stations set ablaze. Parents and guardians are hereby advised to reign in their children and wards, as such acts of hooliganism will no longer be tolerated.
“Also, persons arrested perpetrating crime against the state or found not complying with instructions on curfew will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“Communities are enjoined to protect their infrastructure to avoid destruction by these hoodlums as their actions are not in the best interest of anyone.”
Meanwhile, residents of Nwaorieubi-Mbaitoli and environs have sent a Save Our Souls message to the governor over the heavy presence of soldiers in the area after the killing of their colleagues. Some community members, who spoke with The Guardian, said the information available to them indicated that the perpetrators of the crime came from another state and left after the incident, urging that they should be spared.
– The Guardian