Mischievous persons are capitalising on the tense situation in Abia state to incite groups and spread falsehood about killings and arson in Aba, the state government has said.
In a statement this morning by Enyinnaya Apollos, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ikpeazu, the government said many state officials received calls of purported attacks around Uratta, Umuode, Ariaria and Umuozuo axis of Aba. However, checks last night and this morning by security agencies, especially the Nigerian police, showed that the rumours were false.
“The government believes that the rumors were deliberately circulated to sow mischief, and cause the breakdown of law and order. This is totally unacceptable. The government wishes to assure the public that it is doing its best to protect the citizens and all who reside in the state,” the statement said.
On Wednesday, the governor met with the GOC of 82 Division of the Nigeria Army and all Traditional rulers in Abia State. At the meeting, the military was asked to scale back deployment of soldiers in Umuahia and Aba to enable the Royal Fathers once again, dialogue with IPOB. Also, Traditional Rulers committed to further liaise with HRH Eze I.O Kanu (father of Nnamdi Kanu, Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB) to further explore ways of restoring peace and normalcy.
The government appealed to Abians and Nigerians to go about their lawful businesses and ignore the unfounded rumors and incitement.
“We also urge you to report persons peddling such rumors of attack on individuals and properties to security agents,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ikpeazu has extended the three days curfew imposed on Aba to Friday, 15th September 2017.
In a statement, the governor advised residents and visitors to fully co-operate with security agents to ensure continuing maintenance of law and order within the commercial city and environs.
“He also wishes to express his displeasure with the situation where people are compelled to raise their hands while passing through security checkpoints and hereby call on security agents and all concerned to ensure that such acts, and other forms of inhumane and barbaric treatment of people, are discontinued immediately,” the statement said.
It will be recalled that following security concerns and potential for breakdown of law and order, the Governor had announced the imposition of three days dusk to dawn (6pm to 6am) curfew at Aba from Tuesday 12/09/2017 to Thursday 14/09/2017.