Rivers State Security Council has relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area of the State following the killing of 10 security operatives by members of proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim, during a briefing at the Government House, Port Harcourt, last night, said the curfew would now take effect from 7pm to 6am beginning from today (Wednesday).
“You will recall that following the killing of six soldiers and four policemen, and the destruction of court buildings by members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Rivers State Government imposed a 24-hour curfew on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area on October 21, 2020.
“The State Security Council met today and reviewed the situation in Oyigbo and has therefore decided to review the curfew. From tomorrow, Wednesday, November 4, 2020, the curfew will now be from 7pm to 6am until further notice” he said.
Nsirim explained that during the mayhem that claimed the lives of security agents carrying out their legitimate duties in Oyigbo, 50 AK-47 rifles were carted away. And as a result of this, he said, security agencies in the area would continue to embark on surveillance and search operations to recover the rifles which are now in the illegal possession of some persons.
The commissioner enjoined residents of Oyigbo and members of the public to cooperate with the security agencies as they go about their lawful business unmolested.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said two kingpins of the IPOB allegedly involved in the killing of six soldiers and four policemen in Oyigbo, have been arrested by security operatives.
He has also maintained that the imposition of curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area helped to prevent an outbreak of inter-ethnic war between Igbo and Hausa communities in the area.
The governor stated this when Rotary District 9141 Governor, Mrs. Virginia Major, led a delegation of Rotarians on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday.
He revealed that security operatives in late hours of yesterday arrested two prominent members of IPOB in Oyigbo.
He explained that Rivers State was peaceful during the EndSARS protest, until criminals, under the guise of IPOB attempted to paint the state black by killing 10 security agents in Oyigbo.
He noted that while Rivers State has been home to every ethnic and religious groups, some misguided IPOB members, had taken this for granted by unleashing mayhem in Oyigbo and even attempted to cause inter-ethnic war.
“I will not support criminality. I won’t because the soldiers don’t like me, then you go and kill them. And then, I will come out and clap, thank you for killing the soldiers. Thank you for killing the police,” he said.
Wike has also redeemed his pledge of N20 million to each of the 10 families of security personnel killed by members of the IPOB in Oyigbo Local Government.
The governor had on Wednesday last week during a condolence visit to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, announced the donation of N20 million to each family of the four policemen and six soldiers killed by IPOB members in Oyigbo.
The cheques were presented to the bereaved widows at the State Police Command and 6 Division, Nigerian Army, in Port Harcourt, respectively, yesterday.